Mercedes boss criticises Ferrari's Leclerc over controversial move

Wednesday, 11 Sep, 2019

Drivers have received more leniency since the Austrian Grand Prix, a race in which Leclerc lost victory after being bumped wide by Max Verstappen, as officials seek to allow harder racing to take place without penalties.

"Obviously on my side I'm not happy".

Sebastian Vettel had a day to forget at Monza, however, as the German spun off and then hit Lance Stroll as he tried to rejoin the track, ruining his chances of picking up any points and putting him close to a race ban for accruing so many penalty points.

Stroll would be punted off the circuit by Vettel with both suffering front wing damage as a result, before Stroll performed a similarly unsafe return to the track in front of Pierre Gasly who was forced into the gravel trap.

"It feels good. It's not been an easy start to the season, I've done a few mistakes", Leclerc said.

His Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel struggled in the race's opening stages, initially losing then retaking a position from Renault's Nico Hülkenberg.

The Finn, the last man to win the world championship for Ferrari in 2007, lost control of his auto through the final Parabolica corner, sliding backwards into the gravel before slamming into the barriers.

Stewards also handed Vettel three penalty points, taking his 12 month tally to nine. The rear tyres are the main concern at Monza as they are prone to overheating out of Monza's slow chicanes, but it is only likely to become a major issue if temperatures rocket towards 30C.In the battle at the front, the Mercedes appears to be kinder to its tyres and also has a performance advantage on the medium compound.

"A lot of pressure from Valtteri and I". I think I was stuck on the grass and lost a bit of momentum there and that took a little bit longer.

Stroll, the innocent party turned offender, then nearly hit Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly when he came back on and was served with a drive through penalty. To add insult to injury, he was lapped by Leclerc with a third of the race remaining.

Hamilton will nearly certainly defend his championship this season but he has belatedly been given something to think about heading into 2020.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton was sixth fastest, .301 behind Vettel.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff expressed fears, however, that any easing of the strict driving standards could be problematic. The four-time world champion then attempted to rejoin the corner as the cars behind him were flashing through at high speed.

"He had a spell of bad races and now it will be about the ability to get himself back to where he deserves to be. I have to be careful with the mistakes but none of them cost me positions today".

Big Question: What does Seb's humiliating defeat at Monza mean for Ferrari?