Formula One preview: A lap of the Japanese Grand Prix
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Mattia Binotto has hit back at the FIA for its “ridiculous and unacceptable” decision to penalise Charles Leclerc. The Ferrari boss suggested it was wrong to award penalties without speaking to Leclerc and Sergio Perez about their last lap incident. The team principal has suggested he could appeal the decision which could throw Max Verstappen’s title win in doubt.
Leclerc was handed a five-second penalty moments after the chequered flag for running wide at the final chicane. This proved decisive as it gave Verstappen the eight point advantage over Leclerc that he needed to secure the championship today.
Binotto also questioned why a decision was taken so quickly after it took hours to hand Perez a penalty in last week’s Singapore Grand Prix. Talking to Sky Sport Italia, Binotto said: “I have little desire to comment. I think the choice of the FIA is ridiculous and unacceptable.
“In the last race they took an infinite time to decide while today a few seconds. there was no advantage gained by Charles. We will talk about it in the appropriate places but this decision taken without even listening to drivers is unacceptable as there was no advantage gained.
“Today it took them a moment to give the penalty to Leclerc. Three hours in Singapore with Perez, poor guy, who couldn’t even follow the safety car. Two identical infractions, but different penalties. Congratulations to Max for the victory and for the championship, he drove in an excellent way.”
However, Autosport has since reported that Binotto will not be appealing the decision. Race control initially reported that the incident would be investigated but issued the penalty just minutes later.
It caused confusion over whether Vertsappen had been crowned champion with the Dutchman told post-race by Sky Sports F1 host Johnny Herbert.
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Perez backed the decision of the race stewards to award Leclerc a penalty for the last corner drama. He said: “It was a bit hectic with Charles, good racing.
“I tried to make a move and he locked up and went off. The penalty was fair.”
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