Whilst neither Toto Wolff nor Mattia Binotto did not attend the Japanese GP, clearly with were watching the race back at base and in touch with their local media. Ferrari’s team principal was quick to question how the stewards decided to issue his driver Charles LeClerc a penalty for cutting the final corner on the final lap.
Of course events unfold quickly following the cars arriving in parc Ferm. Drivers are interviewed and the presentation follows shortly after that.
To be fair to the stewards at the Japanese GP, the decision was fairly cut and dry, particularly as Sergio who made the corner was set to overtake LeClerc before the finish line but was squeezed by the Ferrari man.
Binotto says decision inconsistent with Singapore
Binotto says he was “surprised” at the speed the stewards made the decision to penalise LeClerc and relegate him to second place.
Whilst Ferrari will not be appealing the stewards decision, Binotto felt it necessary to compare the speed of the stewards action with last week in Singapore.
With over 20 minutes to go, Perez then leading the race was informed he would be investigated after the race for a safety car infringement. Clearly had Charles LeClerc known Perez was to receive a 5 second penalty he could have tried harder to stay behind the Red bull and benefit form the penalty at there chequered flag.
“Seven days after Singapore, where they took so many laps to decide and then after the race, we had to hear from the drivers to take a simple decision which was straightforward, today they took it in a few seconds,” Binotto told the media.
“[I’m] surprised by such different behaviours between Singapore and here, after only a few days.
“Was the decision of a 5-second penalty right or wrong? In our view, he [Leclerc] honestly didn’t gain the advantage. He was ahead, he stayed ahead, he’s got the gap, he kept the same gap. So still arguable, but that is the way they decided, which we will accept.”
“The five seconds penalty of Singapore should have been given immediately, which would have given us opportunity to manage certainly differently the situation and it could have been a potential victory.
“So it’s frustrating and we are disappointed by that as well.”
LeClerc would lose anyway
In reality Binotto is just bitching, because LeClerc was told of the potential penalty Perez was to receive and told to stay under 5 seconds behind the Red Bull driver.
However, LeClerc admitted in the cool down room “with 15 laps to go, I had broken myself”. Charles could not stay within the 5 seconds as his tyres went off and Perez finished 7.5 seconds ahead of him.
It did take over an hour for the stewards to issue Perez with his penalty of 5 seconds and a reprimand which of course changed nothing in the classified results.
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The pivotal battle ⚔️#JapaneseGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/Ry9KJryxDJ
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 9, 2022
What advantage did LeClerc get?