Magnussen’s ‘block’ on Leclerc was legal because it wasn’t a reaction | 2018 Japanese Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc said he was surprised Kevin Magnussen’s defensive move on him during the Japanese Grand Prix was allowed.

The pair collided on the start/finish straight when Magnussen moved in front of Leclerc on the straight. The contact left Magnussen with a left-rear puncture and the subsequent damage forced him out of the race.

Leclerc said he thought such moves had been outlawed following a similar incident between Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen in the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix.

“For me there was a similar situation with Kimi or Max one or two years ago in Spa where Max moved at the really last moment and everyone really agreed that it was dangerous really to do that and it was not allowed any more,” he said.

“Strangely it has been expected today. I will have to get some response on that to just know what I can do in the car.”

However according to FIA race director Charlie Whiting the evidence seen by the stewards indicated Magnussen’s move was not a reaction to Leclerc pulling out to overtake him.

“If you analyse it very, very carefully what you see is two cars coming down with Kevin not moving and then Charles catches, catches, catches.

He decides to go to the right at exactly the same time – on the video there’s one frame difference and then Kevin moves. So I think it’s impossible to say that Kevin blocked him, it was just that he’d made the decision that he was going to go right fractionally after Charles had.

“You have to look at it quite a few times and analyse it in a little the detail to see that but I think it was just unfortunate and that’s what the stewards felt.”

The stewards ruled the collision was a racing incident and took no action against either driver.

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2018 F1 season

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