"Charles Leclerc broke the rules" when pushing off Hamilton

09-09-2019 18:40
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
General
Charles Leclerc broke the rules when pushing off Hamilton

According to BBC pundit and former Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer, Charles Leclerc clearly broke the rules when pushing Lewis Hamilton off the track in lap 23 of the Italian Grand Prix, as the Monegasque went on to grab Ferrari's first home win since 2010.

Leclerc started the race on pole position and did well to keep himself there, but Hamilton started to test the waters as the race progressed. The Brit eventually had a great run on the 21-year-old heading into turn four as he chose the outside line. Leclerc left the Brit next to no space, forcing him off track. 

The young Ferrari star received a black and white flag for the incident (a last warning) rather than a penalty, but according to former Renault driver Palmer, Leclerc absolutely broke the rules.

"Leclerc forced Hamilton off the road in the braking zone for the second chicane on lap 23, as Hamilton attempted a move on the outside. This is undeniable," the Brit wrote in his column for BBC F1.

"Firstly, this is not fair racing from Leclerc. The rules dictate that in such situations drivers must leave a car's width of space for their opponents, particularly in the braking areas, where they are in full control of their car's positioning, unlike at the apex or exit, where small slides can cause them to deviate from their original and intended trajectory."

"Leclerc moved to the right while he was braking and forced Hamilton off the road. Hamilton couldn't do anything about it, other than to crash with Leclerc or to go off and cut the corner, as he was already on the limit of the brakes and couldn't back out from alongside the Ferrari man. Nor should he have had to.

"Last year, Red Bull's Max Verstappen was penalised five seconds for an almost identical infringement on Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas at turn one in Monza, and it cost the Dutchman a podium.

"In my view, the decision was clear-cut. Much as I didn't want to see a penalty, as it would have inevitably ruined the race, the rules are the rules and they must be adhered to for the good of the sport over the entertainment factor of the show."

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