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FIA confirm Leclerc qualifying crash was reviewed for possible foul play

FIA confirm Leclerc qualifying crash was reviewed for possible foul play

F1 News

FIA confirm Leclerc qualifying crash was reviewed for possible foul play

FIA confirm Leclerc qualifying crash was reviewed for possible foul play

FIA race director Michael Masi has confirmed Charles Leclerc's Monaco Grand Prix qualifying crash was reviewed for potential foul play.

Rumours swirled on Saturday evening that Leclerc had deliberately shunted in the closing stages of the top-10 shoot-out to retain his provisional pole position after setting the fastest time earlier in the session.

F1's blue-riband event has form for such a scenario given that Michael Schumacher infamously 'parked' at La Rascasse in 2006, while Nico Rosberg made an error at Mirabeau that prevented Lewis Hamilton from challenging in 2014.

Asked whether the FIA had investigated Leclerc's accident, Masi said: “The incident was looked at immediately in race control and it was quite clear to us that it was an error at the first part there at turn 15 [swimming pool complex].

"So having looked at the data and also listening to the team communication, I don’t think any driver would go out there to severely damage their car to that degree in any circumstance because of the consequences that may arise out of that.”

Leclerc had clipped a barrier exiting turn 15, breaking the right-front wishbone which speared him into a later guardrail and significant damage to the SF21.

The Monégasque's home race, however, was over on the reconnaissance lap to the grid due to a failure to the left driveshaft.

Ferrari to anaylse Leclerc issue

Team principal Mattia Binotto was at pains to point out post-race the gearbox was not at fault, as was initially suspected given Leclerc's anguished radio message to the team as he slowed before returning to the pits.

Ferrari is to conduct a thorough analysis of the problem as the driveshaft was not inspected after the accident due to it being on the opposing side of the car from where the damage occurred.

"It was a failure on the left-hub driveshaft, something we need to carefully analyse but it was not gearbox related," insisted Binotto.

"If we had changed the gearbox, those parts would still have been on the car because they were not damaged from the accident and the failure would still have happened.

"So it’s not a matter of gambling with the gearbox at all, the gearbox was okay and the gearbox didn’t fail.

"On our part, we need to understand what happened, why it happened and more than that if we could have detected it in parc fermé. It’s more important to understand why we didn’t detect a problem with the car.

"The problem was not there after he left the garage. It appeared in turn six. The part was not showing any cracks but they happened later.

"That is only something we can analyse by looking at all the data."

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