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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc not interested in excuses over 'surprise' exclusion

The Monegasque driver's sixth place was expunged from the results after he failed extra checks during post-race scrutineering in the US Grand Prix.

Leclerc US
To news overview © XPBimages

Charles Leclerc has conceded that Ferrari was "completely surprised" by his disqualification from the United States Grand Prix for excessive plank wear - adding that there were no excuses for it.

After finishing sixth on the road, Leclerc's SF-23 was one of four cars selected for extra random checks by the FIA, along with Max Verstappen's Red Bull, the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and the MCL60 of Lando Norris.

However, both Leclerc and Hamilton were found to have excessive wear to the plank beyond the 1mm that is tolerated, and as it was a clear breach of the technical regulations, both cars were disqualified.

Neither Ferrari or Mercedes launched an appeal, with the fact that it was a Sprint weekend with limited practice, coupled with a bumpy Austin circuit factors highlighted by both teams as reasons behind the rare incident.

Reflecting on what is the first DSQ of his Grand Prix career, Leclerc spoke of the surprise the team felt.

Leclerc 'surprised' by Ferrari US disqualification

"Honestly, it was a complete surprise because on Friday when we checked the car, there was zero wear [of the plank]," Leclerc told media including RacingNews365.

"It is not like we were touching [the ground] anywhere, and then you get to the race, and obviously things changed and we were illegal.

"Rules are rules, and they need to be respected so it is not an excuse to say that on Friday: 'We were fine'.

"We need to look into it to try and anticipate what is going to be the wear [rate.]

"There are so many [factors], there is kerb riding, but at the end, we should have anticipated it better.

"On Saturday night, we could see more or less where we are touching and we thought there was plenty of margin - and then on Sunday, it was a big surprise.

"We are still analysing why we wore the plank more than we expected.

"I was still at the track [when I found out], but it is the kind of thing you need to accept because there's nothing to fight for with those things."

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