Mika Hakkinen opens up on Charles Leclerc's penalty

16-10-2019 17:00
by Louis Shaw
F1 News
Mika Hakkinen opens up on Charles Leclerc's penalty

At the Japanese Grand Prix Charles Leclerc was lucky not to receive more than a 10-second penalty for continuing to drive with a damaged front wing. Mika Hakkinen believes he was lucky to get away with such a small penalty. 

“There has been a lot to do around Ferrari and Leclerc with regard to the failure after the crash with Verstappen. In my view, he should have done that immediately, since it makes little sense to drive on with a broken flail that drags on the ground. You lose performance, you damage the tires and you become a danger to yourself and others," Hakkinen said in his Unibet column. 

"It is so incredibly important to keep the wing whole at high speeds: Let's not forget that a damaged front wing was responsible for the fatal crash of Roland Ratzenberger in San Marino in 1994. I think we were lucky that when piece wing was released from Leclerc's car, this part only damaged Lewis Hamilton's car. It could have been many times worse. This once again showed why the Halo has been so incredibly important. "

“I don't blame Leclerc for the fact that he wanted to keep on driving. He said his car didn't feel bad and he can hardly see from his cockpit how the front wing is hanging. However, the Ferrari management saw that: No surprise, therefore, that the stewards handed out a punishment.”

The FIA will hopefully learn from this situation and the damage that could have been caused. 

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