Much has been written about Formula One Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc and his apparent jinx when racing around the streets of his home town. Ferrari’s number one has never completed a race in any class of racing in the Principality, including two weeks ago at the Historic racing event when he drove Niki Lauda’s 1977 Ferrari into the Rascasse barrier.
At this years F1 Monaco GP weekend, LeClerc has been around the top of the time sheets for each of the four sessions, culminating with him putting together a stunning lap to claim pole position.
Yet the sword of Damocles once again hovered over the Monegasque driver’s head as he failed to see a pit lane light during qualifying. The light was to call Charles into the weighbridge for a random legality check by the FIA delegates, but he drove on by.
Ferrari quickly spotted his mistake and told him to stop, sending their mechanics to push him back to have the car checked it was legal.
Yet Helmut Marko believes this was still in breach of the rules and having noted the incident the stewards “should apply a penalty”.
However, Article 35.1 b) of the FIA’s sporting regulations states: “Any driver who fails to stop when asked to do so, and then fails to bring the car back to the FIA garage, or if work is carried out on the car before it is returned to the FIA garage, will be referred to the stewards.”
Given the letter of the law it would appear Marko is wrong because the Ferrari mechanics returned the car to the weighbridge with no “work carried out on the car.”
Despite this Helmut Marko insisted, “He drove by. They didn’t change the car, but according to the regulations, it should be a penalty.”
Marko bizarrely added “I don’t think we need to intervene,” with the strange rationale “I don’t wish it on him because he’s had so much bad luck in Monte Carlo.”
Have Red Bull gone soft?
Surely staying a complaint about the breach of rules by Max Verstappen’s direct competitor for the championship because they ‘feel sorry for him’ is not really in Red Bull Racing’s DNA.