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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc calls for rule changes after Belgian GP 'tear-off' issue

Charles Leclerc has called for action to be taken to prevent visor 'tear-offs' inadvertently affecting the outcome of future F1 races.

Leclerc Dutch GP 2022
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To news overview © XPBimages

Charles Leclerc believes more needs to be done to prevent visor 'tear-offs' affecting the outcome of Grands Prix.

Leclerc's Belgian GP was hampered by an overheating brake issue in the opening laps of the race, which prompted the Ferrari driver to make an early first pit stop.

It was confirmed during the race that the item blocking the brake duct was a visor tear-off, one of several transparent plastic covers which drivers are permitted to remove from their helmet visors if visibility becomes impaired.

After the race, it emerged that the likely source of the tear-off was championship leader Max Verstappen, who at the time of the incident was running one position in front of Leclerc.

Speaking ahead of the Dutch GP, Leclerc refused to directly blame the Red Bull driver for problem.

"In all fairness, you cannot calculate that," Leclerc told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"I'm not angry at all with Max, it is obviously not the fault of the drivers.

"In this particular situation, I think somebody was losing oil or something and I could not see anything through my visor, all the drivers in front of me couldn't see anything through their visors.

"The first opportunity we had to remove a tear-off was on the straight, so I find myself with tear-offs flying all over the place and in that circumstance you cannot do much as a driver."

Leclerc calls for solution to tear-off issue

Leclerc's overheating brake issue resulted in a change of strategy, and put the Monegasque driver on the backfoot for the remainder of the race.

Owing to grid penalties, both he and Verstappen started towards the back of the Belgian GP grid.

Whilst he was unlikely to make the same progress through the field as eventual race-winner Verstappen, his odds of a podium finish were severely reduced by the issue.

Leclerc was running in fifth before a bodged attempt at pitting for soft tyres and gunning for fastest lap put the Ferrari driver in sixth, following a time penalty for pit lane speeding.

Leclerc continued to call for additional rules regarding tear-offs, and suggested they be stored somewhere in the cars, a practice that was tried and stopped some years ago.

"I think maybe moving forward it will be good that we maybe find a solution," added Leclerc.

"We might look at something to find a way to keep the tear-off somewhere in the car.

"I guess there were reasons why this rule was dropped, but I'm not aware of these reasons. Maybe there are also other solutions."

Also interesting:

F1 podcast: Could Honda stay with Red Bull beyond 2025?

As Max Verstappen took a dominant win in the Belgian Grand Prix, plenty of attention remains on off-track matters, with Audi confirming their 2026 arrival into F1, and question marks remaining over the involvement of Porsche and Honda.

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key topics from the Belgium Grand Prix.

F1 2022 Dutch Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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