Charles Leclerc “lost concentration” due to Sebastian Vettel's jump start

17-10-2019 15:11
by Bevan Youl
General
Charles Leclerc “lost concentration” due to Sebastian Vettel's jump start

Former Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer says that Charles Leclerc “lost concentration” at the beginning of the Japanese Grand Prix due to Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel’s jump start.

After the Scuderia secured a front row lock out at Suzuka early Sunday morning before the race things didn’t go to plan for either driver.
 
Vettel jumped the start, lurching his car forward before the lights had gone but stopped to then go again, losing out on first place to a superb start from Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas.
 
Down the main straight Leclerc also looked to have had a poor start with the Red Bull of Max Verstappen cruising past before the two collided at turn two.
 
“From second on the grid Leclerc shouldn’t have been under pressure from fifth place man Verstappen into Turn 1, but he was caught out by teammate Sebastian Vettel’s ‘jump’ start antics,” Palmer said on Formula 1.
 
“As Vettel lurched forwards and stopped again, Leclerc lost concentration on the lights for a split second and as a result was very slow to react to them going out.
 
“Leclerc had to cover off Hamilton on the inside and Verstappen on the outside into Turn 1, and whilst Hamilton backed out early into the corner, Leclerc was cautious as well, which allowed Verstappen to sweep around the outside.

“Leclerc then, in a desperate bid to keep third place, carried a lot of speed into Turn 2 and understeered clean into the side of Verstappen who had given him plenty of space on the inside.

“They could have gone through Turn 2 side by side, however Leclerc’s understeer meant he deviated from the inside line and crashed into the side of the Red Bull.”

Palmer believes that part of the reason for the Monegasque having understeer going into turn two was due to being in the dirty air of his teammate.
 
“In clean air, Leclerc probably didn’t carry too much entry speed for Turn 2, but his team mate’s Ferrari just ahead meant he was in the dirty air and picked up terminal understeer, as he was missing the front downforce and airflow over the car,” he added.

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