Leclerc avoids disqualification from Abu Dhabi GP

Charles Leclerc has avoided being disqualified from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after a fuel irregularity was found in his Ferrari before the race.

Shortly before lights out at the Yas Marina Circuit, the FIA issued a statement saying: “There was a significant difference between the declaration of the team and the amount of fuel inside the car.”

Stewards issued a fine of €50,000, but Leclerc keeps his third place.

The FIA’s findings read: “TD/014-19 required teams to declare the amount of fuel that they intended to put in the car for the laps to the grid, the formation lap, the race, the in-lap and any fire-ups that would be needed. The Technical Delegate was able to confirm the fuel mass put in the tank by checking in accordance with the procedure specified in TD/014-19.

“There was a difference of 4.88kgs between the team’s declaration for car 16 and the Technical Delegate’s measured fuel mass.

“The team’s declaration was therefore inaccurate and constituted a breach of the Technical Directive. This in turn constitutes an infringement of Article 12.1.1.i of the International Sporting Code.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner had said pre-race that he expected Leclerc to be disqualified over the race, which may have increased scrutiny on Ferrari’s engines.

The Scuderia’s mid-season pace gains caught the attention of rival teams, and the FIA, who have issued several technical directives, seen as an exploration of the legality of Ferrari’s PU.