Charles Leclerc has held his hands up for the collision with Max Verstappen at the start of the Japanese Grand Prix which wrecked both their races.

The Ferrari driver suffered a poor getaway from the front row which saw him slip to third place by the first corner and while defending his position at Turn 2 he slide into Verstappen who had been attacking around the outside which sent the Red Bull Honda driver into a spin.

With heavy damage to his front wing, the Monegasque had to pit which set up an initial recovery drive to sixth place at the chequered flag.

But after being given a five-second penalty for colliding with Verstappen he was handed another 10-second time penalty for driving his car in an unsafe condition when he failed to pit immediately following the collision, dropping Leclerc to seventh place in the final results.

“With the start, I had a poor start. I got a little bit distracted. I saw Seb moving a little bit. Then my reaction time was very poor. The actual start was not so bad, but the reaction was very poor, and with Max I just did a mistake clearly,” Leclerc explained.

“I was on the inside, and being behind Seb and Lewis, I lost a little bit of the front, but normally you need to anticipate those things, and I didn’t. I’m the one to blame.”

Verstappen was critical of Leclerc as his race was prematurely ended when he retired with damage after 14 laps.

“I like hard racing but I don’t think this was hard racing, this was just irresponsible driving into Turn 2,” Verstappen said.

Leclerc has also been given two penalty points to his F1 record.



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