The Japanese Grand Prix stewards reversed their decision not to investigate the collision between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen because “new evidence” became available. FIA race director Michael Masi explained why the stewards took a second look at an incident they originally decided to take no action over.
“Some new evidence became available which they didn’t have available at the time and they chose to effectively reopen the investigation. Originally, with what was available to them, they made a determination that there was no investigation necessary. Then they got some other footage which they didn’t have. And well within their rights, it was a new element and they reopened it.” – he explained.
The stewards chose to investigate the incident after the race, at which point they issued a five-second time penalty to Charles Leclerc and gave him two penalty points on his licence.
The Ferrari driver accepted responsibility for the collision which occured as he was following Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton through turn two.
“With Max I just did a mistake, clearly. I was on the inside and being behind Seb and Lewis I lost a little bit the front but yeah obviously normally you need to anticipate those things so I’m the one to blame.”