Leclerc handed three-place grid penalty for Abu Dhabi GP

Leclerc handed three-place grid penalty for Abu Dhabi GP

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will have a three-place grid drop at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix after he caused a first-lap collision in Sunday’s penultimate round in Bahrain.

The Monegasque tangled with Racing Point’s eventual race winner Sergio Perez in a collision that led to his retirement and that of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and left the Mexican fighting back from 18th.

Stewards said Leclerc had braked too late into Turn 4, locking the front right wheel and colliding with Perez as the Mexican took the normal racing line into the corner.

Leclerc, who also collected two penalty points, admitted he was at fault after the race.

“I expected him to go around the outside of (Mercedes’) Valtteri (Bottas) and stay there but I think he decided after to come back on the inside and I was there and then it was to late for me to slow down,” he said of Perez.

“I don’t think it’s a mistake from Checo (Perez), I’m not putting the blame on Checo. If there’s anyone to blame today it’s me but I would say it more unfortunate than a blame.”

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