Jolyon Palmer column: Charles Leclerc win at Monza leaves Formula 1 in a tangle

Posted by on September 10th, 2019

Why Leclerc broke the rules

Let's start with the facts.

Leclerc forced Hamilton off the road in the braking zone for the second chicane on lap 23, as Hamilton attempted a move on the outside. This is undeniable.

Hamilton kicked up the grass in his evasive action as the Ferrari moved across, and was forced to cut the chicane and rejoin behind.

Firstly, this is not fair racing from Leclerc. The rules dictate that in such situations drivers must leave a car's width of space for their opponents, particularly in the braking areas, where they are in full control of their car's positioning, unlike at the apex or exit, where small slides can cause them to deviate from their original and intended trajectory.

Leclerc moved to the right while he was braking and forced Hamilton off the road. Hamilton couldn't do anything about it, other than to crash with Leclerc or to go off and cut the corner, as he was already on the limit of the brakes and couldn't back out from alongside the Ferrari man. Nor should he have had to.

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