Charles Leclerc’s Italian GP ‘yellow card’ explained by F1 race director
FIA race director Michael Masi has clarified Charles Leclerc was issued by F1’s equivalent of the’yellow card’ and not a penalty in his struggle with Lewis Hamilton from the GP.
As Hamilton cranked up the pressure on the Ferrari driver midway through the race, the Mercedes driver went across the area but was squeezed broad and attacked into the next chicane of Monza.
Race Control revealed Leclerc a black-and-white flag – that the warning for’unsportsmanlike behavior’ – instead of just about any time punishment, as may have occurred before.
Analysing the incident on the SkyPad together with Sky Sports F1’s Anthony Davidson following the race, Masi explained:”The rules remain with regards to a vehicle’s width of space.
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“It’s very clear here that Charles has squeezed Lewis and, consistent with that which happened last weekend at Spa together with Pierre Gasly, as a result it had been the lousy sportsmanship flag, or even the black-and-white flag, that was displayed to Auto 16 for the move and the squeeze from the braking area.”
Even though the black-and-flag has been in use and available across motorsport, Masi states it will be issued to drivers as means of an one-chance warning.
“For small infringements which are, let us call ita’professional foul’ but don’t go beyond the line, we’ll be absolutely employing the flag more and longer,” he said.
“It’s an indication to everyone that the driver’s on notice since you only get one to the race. Should you do it , the drivers have all been advised that every other infraction will be known to the stewards.”
Why the shift in approach?
Amid long standing calls to allow drivers to race freely without penalties being applied, in wheel-to-wheel circumstances, Masi states drivers and groups also have helped shaped the strategy and plans for greater use of the’yellow card’.
“When there was resulting contact [from the Leclerc and Hamilton incident] we’d have looked at it in a little more detail, however effectively under the’let them race doctrine’ that the groups, the F1 Group, both the drivers and the FIA have worked together on during the year, also giving the teams that the guidance at the last occasion in Spa, we will use the black and white flag more often – in their request I must state,” additional Masi.
“And that has been a prime incident where everybody continued, black and white flag, motorsport’s version of this yellow card.”
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