Three-place penalty for Leclerc after impeding Kvyat

Jamie Woodhouse
Charles Leclerc Ferrari

Charles Leclerc says it will be "difficult" for Ferrari to win any time soon.

Charles Leclerc’s weekend in Styria went from bad to worse after he was given a three-place grid penalty for impeding Daniil Kvyat in qualifying.

It was a disappointing day for Ferrari at a wet Red Bull Ring with Leclerc suffering elimination in Q2, the second time in two races that a Ferrari driver has missed out on the final part qualifying.

Leclerc was set to start from P11, but that has now become P14 after he impeded AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat.

“The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 16 (Charles Leclerc) and the team representative and reviewed video evidence,” read the report.

“The driver of Car 16 had been adequately informed by the team after Turn 7 that Car 26 (Daniil Kvyat) would be approaching and that he should watch out for traffic.

“Following this, he accelerated on the approach to Turn 9, but eventually slowed down again after spotting another car in front of him in Turn 9 in order to prevent having his following lap affected.

“Furthermore, the driver of Car 16 stated that it would have been impossible for him to see anything in his rear view mirrors due to the bad weather conditions.

“Video evidence and telemetry data clearly showed that the driver of Car 26 was impeded by Car 16 in Turns 9 and 10.

“Although the weather conditions might have affected the visibility in the rear view mirrors and the driver had no intention of impeding another car, the Stewards determine that the driver of Car 16 must have been aware of Car 26 approaching, could have reacted differently and therefore impose the above mentioned penalty.”

Leclerc was also under investigation for allegedly ignoring red flags after Antonio Giovinazzi stopped on-track during Q1, but was cleared, along with Giovinazzi’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

“The red flag came at the moment the driver of Car 16 was approaching the entry of Turn 9 and the driver was fully committed to the turn,” read the next Stewards’ report.

“The driver braked hard, did not accelerate after Turn 9 and considered entering the pit lane by crossing the white line at pit entry, but felt it would have been unsafe do so.

“The driver reacted appropriately, continued on track and drove the lap afterwards at safe speeds. Taking this into account, Stewards determine to take no further action.”

Sergio Perez was also cleared of ignoring yellow flags during qualifying.

“The Driver of Car 11 had already reached the braking zone before Turn 3 and was fully committed to the corner at the moment a single yellow flag was shown shortly before the apex of Turn 3,” said the Stewards.

“In addition to that, a green light panel was flashing right after the apex.

“Taking into account these facts, the Stewards determine that the driver of Car 11 had no chance to do anything more to slow down more than he did and therefore take no further action.”

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