Charles Leclerc will start the Styrian Grand Prix in 14th place as a result of a grid penalty for impeding Daniil Kvyat during qualifying on Saturday.
The Ferrari driver originally qualified in 11th place but was summoned to the stewards for two incidents during qualifying, one when he didn’t pit immediately after a red flag and the other for the incident with Kvyat. The red flag situation resulted in both Leclerc and Kimi Raikkonen being cleared as both were approaching Turn 9 at racing speed and unable to slow quickly enough to pit, but Leclerc was not so fortunate on the second investigation.
The stewards found that Leclerc “had been adequately informed by the team after Turn 7 that Car 26 (Kvyat) would be approaching and that he should watch out for traffic.
“Following this, he accelerated on the approach to Turn 9, but eventually slowed down again after spotting another car in front of him in Turn 9 in order to prevent having his following lap affected. Furthermore, the driver of Car 16 stated that it would have been impossible for him to see anything in his rear view mirrors due to the bad weather conditions.
“Video evidence and telemetry data clearly showed that the driver of Car 26 was impeded by Car 16 in turns 9 and 10. Although the weather conditions might have affected the visibility in the rear view mirrors and the driver had no intention of impeding another car, the stewards determine that the driver of Car 16 must have been aware of Car 26 approaching, (and) could have reacted differently.”
A three-place grid penalty drops Leclerc from 11th to 14th, and promotes George Russell to 11th ahead of Lance Stroll and Kvyat.
The other item investigated was Sergio Perez for allegedly ignoring yellow flags in Q1, but he faces no further punishment as the stewards accepted he was already braking for Turn 3 when a yellow flag appeared, and a green flag on the exit allowed him to accelerate out as normal.