until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Stroll: ‘Kind of ridiculous’ Leclerc escaped penalty

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
2 min read

Lance Stroll believes it is “kind of ridiculous” that Charles Leclerc escaped a penalty for their opening lap Russian Grand Prix collision.

Leclerc launched his Ferrari down the inside of Stroll’s Racing Point for seventh place at Turn 4, and clipped Stroll’s right rear as their paths intertwined on corner exit.

Stroll, who was on the outside kerb as the contact took place, was sent spinning into the wall in the upgraded RP20, retiring on the spot, while Leclerc continued seemingly unimpeded and ultimately brought the car home for a sixth-place finish.

“He could have avoided it. He didn’t have to run so wide into me” :: Lance Stroll

Afterwards Stroll expressed his incredulity over Leclerc escaping a punishment for his role in the collision.

“I’m quite surprised he didn’t get a penalty. I gave him plenty of room, I did the whole corner on the outside and he just tagged my right rear, so…

“I gave him all the room I could and it was unlucky but he could have avoided it. He didn’t have to run so wide into me.

“So yeah, I think it’s kind of ridiculous that he didn’t get a penalty.

“I think a lot was possible. We were seventh at that point. I had a great start, we were on a good tyre so it’s a real shame.”

The incident was “noted” by the stewards, but never placed under official investigation.

When asked about the incident, Leclerc said it was the result of dirty air from Stroll’s team-mate Sergio Perez, who was running right ahead of the pair in sixth place.

“I tried to go inside Lance at Turn 4 and then in the middle of the corner Perez took the apex and when I was behind him I understeered quite a bit and then we made contact with Lance,” Leclerc said.

Charles Leclerc Ferrari Russian Grand Prix 2020 Sochi

Leclerc’s sixth-place finish was Ferrari’s best result in five races, the troubled SF1000 having looked less competitive of late than it did at the very start of the year.

“I was surprised to be honest,” Leclerc said. “Friday [in practice] I did quite a bad job in the car, especially during the race simulation, with tyres and pace – so I did not expect to do such a jump forward today, but it was a very good surprise. So, P6 was definitely the best we could do today.

“I’m very happy. We are coming back from very, very difficult weekends and mentally it was very difficult.

“I mean, once you do a good start like in Mugello then got overtaken lap after lap, it was very difficult to take.

“So, finally a race where you can see positive signs of the car and also from myself, because I think I drove well today.”

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