Charles Leclerc had a thrilling moment in the qualifying session that gave him the second consecutive pole in Monaco. Towards the end of Q2 the Ferrari driver was called for a weight check, but he did not see the signal and continued along the pit lane and then stopped shortly before reaching the Ferrari garage.
If he had reached the lay-by and the mechanics had worked on his car, even just to change tires, this would have been enough to earn him a penalty.
At the Ferrari pit wall, it was immediately clear that Leclerc had jumped the weight and immediately ordered his driver to stop, sending the mechanics into the lane to push F1-75 number 16 back to the area dedicated to controls.
At the end of the session, Leclerc admitted that he had absolutely not seen the signal and did not even know where it was positioned.
“It’s very complicated because I don’t even know where the panel is placed, right or left. But it’s very far away and when you enter the pits you don’t look in that direction ”.
“I didn’t actually realize I was called to weigh in, but luckily the team warned me to stop and the guys pushed me back. Also in this case we managed to get out of a difficult situation ”.
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75
Photo by: Erik Junius
F1 rules are pretty strict when it comes to drivers who don’t show up and teams that work on the cars.
At the 2019 Baku GP Pierre Gasly was forced to start from the pit lane after missing a weight check in practice and after his team, at the time Red Bull, had worked on his car. The same sanction was applied to Sergio Perez in the United States GP of the same year.
The F1 rules are very clear on this. Article 35.1 b) states: “Any driver who does not stop when asked to do so and does not return the car to the FIA garage, or if work is carried out on the car before it is returned to the FIA garage, will be referred to the stewards. “.
“In the event of violation of the provisions relating to the weighing of cars, the stewards may have the driver retreat the number of positions on the grid they deem appropriate or disqualify him from the sprint session or the race”.
What we saw yesterday with Leclerc is nothing new. The layout of the Monaco pitlane, in fact, does not make it easy for the drivers to see the illuminated panel. Already in 2019 the Monegasque, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg had jumped the weigh-in for not having seen the indication.