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Charles Leclerc

Stewards deliver Leclerc verdict in Perez Mexico summons

The Ferrari driver was called to see the stewards in Mexico City for an alleged breach of Article 3.2 of the Sporting Regulations.

Leclerc Mexico
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Charles Leclerc has avoided any further punishment from stewards after being summoned following his first lap crash with Sergio Perez in the Mexico City Grand Prix.

Pole-sitter Leclerc was hit by the fast-starting Perez at Turn 1 after the Red Bull attempted to take the lead into the corner - being sandwiched between Perez on the left and Max Verstappen on the right.

The contact tipped Perez into the air, causing severe damage to the floor and sidepod of the Red Bull, ultimately causing a first lap retirement for the home favourite.

Leclerc continued, but the left front-wing end-plate came loose and detached, causing a brief Virtual Safety Car, but Leclerc was called for driving the car in an unsafe condition.

In their verdict, the stewards heard from Ferrari, Jo Bauer, the FIA's Technical Delegate, and Director of the Single-Seater department Nikolas Tombazis.

Ferrari explained that it had monitored the situation with the end-plate, and believed that the "structure of the wing assembly was sound" and that it did not expect the end-plate to detach.

Having tried, and failed, to use live TV pictures to confirm, the team noticed a deterioation on Lap 3, and was about to take action before the end-plate fell off, triggering a brief Virtual Safety Car.

Using an agreement from October 2022 - after the United States Grand Prix in which Haas protested Fernando Alonso's damaged Alpine after a mirror fell off following the high-speed collision with Lance Stroll - between the teams and the FIA, it was deemed that the detachment of the end-plate did not cause the car to become "unsafe" and that no further action was warranted.

Leclerc finished third behind Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton for his fourth podium of the season.

Elsewhere, Valtteri Bottas picked up a five-second time penalty and two penalty points for the collision with Lance Stroll - dropping him from last but one to last behind team-mate Zhou Guanyu.

Was Sergio Perez right to go for the move into Turn 1? Let us know in the comments and by voting in the poll below!

F1 2023 Mexican Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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