f1 belgian gp: visor tear-off ruined charles leclerc’s race - was it max verstappen’s?

Ferrari suspect a tear-off belonging to Max Verstappen hampered the recovery effort of his F1 title rival Charles Leclerc at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Leclerc started directly behind Verstappen from 15th on the grid at Spa-Francorchamps after both drivers were hit by grid penalties for using too many engine components.

While Verstappen crushed his rivals en route to securing a dominant victory, Leclerc could only recover to fifth, which later became sixth when he was handed a post-race five-second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

Leclerc’s race was made harder when he was forced into an unscheduled early pit stop on Lap 3 after his front-right began overheating when a tear-off became stuck in his brake duct.

Verstappen had removed a visor tear-off from the cockpit of his Red Bull towards the end of the first lap when Leclerc was running behind him in ninth.

“People were going off in the gravel, coming back on the track and of course they are defending their spots,” Verstappen explained. “I was literally just trying to stay out of it. But you also don’t want to lose too much time.

“Then of course with Lewis driving there, I don’t know, the car was broken, I think he was holding up everything. And then everyone of course tries to benefit from that.

“So then people were going two wide and I went on the inside, but then of course Lewis pulled off, which is correct to do. But then I had to move to the left.

“It was super-hectic and so much dirt as well. I pulled off my tear-off because I barely could see anything just because of the previous sector, like everyone just going on the grass and the gravel. But we survived without damage.”

f1 belgian gp: visor tear-off ruined charles leclerc’s race - was it max verstappen’s?

Verstappen said he only found out Leclerc’s issue was caused by a tear-off when he was informed by Carlos Sainz.

“Carlos told me it was a tear-off,” he added. “I didn’t know. I hope it’s not mine, but there was a lot of stuff. Honestly, people were all pulling stuff out.

“It’s just super-unlucky, to be honest, that that happens. You’re always scared that it happens, especially when you are in the pack, especially on a track like this, you are taking them off very quickly.

“That is your worst nightmare that these things happen. But unfortunately they do happen.”

Ferrari believe the tear-off came from Verstappen, with team principal Mattia Binotto suggesting the overheating issue may have affected the sensors measuring Leclerc’s speed, leading to him picking up a time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

“We were not using our normal sensors measuring the speed because they have been failed during the overheating of the front-right due to the tear-off of Max,” said Binotto.

“I think overall it has been an unlucky situation and we should not stop deciding to be brave to go for a fast lap when conditions are there to go for it.”

MOTOR'S NEWS RELATED

Lawson: F1 outing ‘a crazy step up from F2’

Brawn GP docu-series to be released on Disney+ Szafnauer wishes Piastri had ‘more integrity’ following Alpine rejection Liam Lawson (NZL) AlphaTauri AT03 Test Driver. Belgian Grand Prix, Friday 26th August 2022. Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. Liam Lawson described his Formula 1 outing as “a crazy experience” after linking up with AlphaTauri ...

View more: Lawson: F1 outing ‘a crazy step up from F2’

F1 Belgian GP: Same Friday problems for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton - or new ones?

Lewis Hamilton says he has no answer for Mercedes’ early pace struggles during Friday practice at the 2022 F1 Belgian Grand Prix. Hamilton ended the day sixth and nearly 1.4s seconds off the benchmark pace set by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen as Mercedes once again faced tyre warm-up issues ...

View more: F1 Belgian GP: Same Friday problems for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton - or new ones?

Hamilton: Mercedes ‘a long way off’ after Friday running

Lawson: F1 outing ‘a crazy step up from F2’ Brawn GP docu-series to be released on Disney+ Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W13. Belgian Grand Prix, Friday 26th August 2022. Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes is “a long way off” the pace at the Belgian Grand Prix ...

View more: Hamilton: Mercedes ‘a long way off’ after Friday running

Andretti set to retain DeFrancesco for 2023

McLaren discussed potential IndyCar switch for Ricciardo IndyCar ‘working hard’ to reduce car weight in future generations Devlin DeFrancesco will be joined by his Indy Lights team-mate Kyle Kirkwood in 2023. Photo: Kevin Dejewski It appears that Andretti Autosport has finalized its lineup for the 2023 IndyCar season, with ...

View more: Andretti set to retain DeFrancesco for 2023

Ducati unveils 2023 factory roster, Bastianini to partner Bagnaia

Marquez cleared to return to motorcycle training Marini: ‘I can fight for the podium in every race’ After much deliberation Ducati’s MotoGP outfit has elected to sign Enea Bastianini to join Francesco Bagnaia in 2023, with Jorge Martin to remain at Pramac alongside Johann Zarco. The Italian manufacturer had ...

View more: Ducati unveils 2023 factory roster, Bastianini to partner Bagnaia

MotoGP rookie Watanabe replaces Mir at Suzuki for Misano outing

Ducati unveils 2023 factory roster, Bastianini to partner Bagnaia Marquez cleared to return to motorcycle training Suzuki superbike rider Kazuki Watanabe has been selected by the Japanese squad to deputise for the injured Joan Mir in next weekend’s San Marino Grand Prix. Mir is currently undergoing a medically-enforced 15 ...

View more: MotoGP rookie Watanabe replaces Mir at Suzuki for Misano outing

EXCLUSIVE: Valtteri Bottas on the prospect of racing for Audi in F1

Valtteri Bottas has suggested he would be happy to stick around and possibly race with Audi when the German car company enters F1 in 2026. On Friday Audi confirmed it will make its debut in F1 in 2026 and revealed plans for its first engine programme which will coincide ...

View more: EXCLUSIVE: Valtteri Bottas on the prospect of racing for Audi in F1

Horner: Ricciardo’s McLaren exit ‘very sad’ for F1

Hamilton: Mercedes ‘a long way off’ after Friday running Lawson: F1 outing ‘a crazy step up from F2’ Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Daniel Ricciardo’s early exit from McLaren is “very sad” for Formula 1. Earlier this week, McLaren confirmed that it would part ways with Ricciardo ...

View more: Horner: Ricciardo’s McLaren exit ‘very sad’ for F1

FIA responds to Domenicali’s disputed female F1 drivers comment

NASCAR at Daytona: Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott Start on Front Row After Qualifying Rainout

Alpine confident as date set for Piastri CRB hearing

BTCC Thruxton - Rounds 22, 23 & 24: Practice Results (1)

BTCC: Ingram sets blistering pace to top opening Thruxton practice

Alpine ‘very confident’ of winning Oscar Piastri F1 contract case

DTM qualifying at Nurburgring called off due to fog, Bortolotti starts first

Zhou becomes latest driver to take Belgian GP grid drop

F1 2022 Belgian Grand Prix - Free Practice Results (3)

FIA Formula 3 2022 - Belgium - Full Sprint Race Results

F1 Belgian GP: Sergio Perez tops final practice as Charles Leclerc brushes the barrier

BTCC Thruxton - Rounds 22,23 & 24: Practice Results (2)

OTHER MOTO NEWS