Why did Leclerc's Japan GP penalty take so long? Michael Masi explains...

31-10-2019 08:41
F1 News
Why did Leclerc's Japan GP penalty take so long? Michael Masi explains...

Michael Masi has explained why the decision to give Charles Leclerc a penalty in Japan took four hours, when fans that were watching thought it was obvious. Leclerc collided with Max Verstappen at turn two at Suzuka Circuit after the Monegasque understeered into the path of the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver.

Originally, it was announced that there would be no investigation necessary, to the disgust of Verstappen over the radio, with the Dutchman eventually having to retire from the race with damage.

Masi reveals that on some incidents, the stewards prefer to speak to the drivers involved before dishing out punishments, which is why the Leclerc-Verstappen decision took so long when you compare it to other penalties, such as the one for Daniil Kvyat at the end of the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Russian was punished just minutes after the incident that saw him spin Nico Hulkenberg into the barriers at the final corner of the race.

Masi said, according to Speedweek: “If they’ve got an element of doubt, they will wait until after the race and it’s purely up to the panel of stewards to determine.

“If they want to get an understanding of the drivers, of their [side], that’s their prorogative. That’s why they’re there, that’s why the four of them sit there in the room and have a look at everything. If there’s something they’d like to get a better understanding of, they go for it.

“Our aim is to get the right decisions. Sometimes they might take a little bit longer than we all like but I’m still a fan of having the right decision the penalty being applied rightly or wrongly.”

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