Leclerc was unaware of fuel concern; Binotto confident

Image by Zak Mauger/LAT

Leclerc was unaware of fuel concern; Binotto confident

Formula 1

Leclerc was unaware of fuel concern; Binotto confident


Charles Leclerc says he was unaware that his car was under investigation for a fuel irregularity when he started the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The FIA issued a document stating that there was a “significant difference” between the amount of fuel Ferrari claimed was in Leclerc’s car pre-race and the actual amount measured in the car. That led to an investigation, with Ferrari summoned to see the stewards after the end of the race, and Leclerc — who provisionally finished third — says he was not aware of the situation.

“To be honest I’ve got no idea and no details whatsoever of what’s going on for now, so I will speak to the team to understand that later,” Leclerc said.

“I’m very happy (with my race). Very happy with my season overall — this last race with a podium. Even though it feels a little bit as if we were too slow, overall it’s life. We just need to understand what made us OK in qualifying this year but struggle quite a lot in the race pace. We will learn lessons from this year, I’m sure, and we will come back stronger next year.”

Team principal Mattia Binotto believes Ferrari is under investigation for a sporting discrepancy rather than for breaking technical regulations.

“First we do not have many details, so I don’t think it is on the technical side; it is more on the sporting side, not for following instructions on the sporting code,” Binotto said. “We do not have details so we are quite relaxed, I have to say, because we know about the procedures we are applying. But let’s wait and see what the details will be and try to understand and try to eventually explain if there are any discrepancies.

“What it is related to is, normally you declare how much fuel you put in the car and sometimes they may weigh the car by emptying the car. So I think they found a difference there. I understand it is a sporting rule but we are not sure yet.”