Charles Leclerc has explained why he drove the final two laps of the Spanish Grand Prix before retiring with his seat belts undone.

Leclerc came to a halt midway through the race in Barcelona and subsequently undone his belts as he prepared to get out of his Ferrari car.

He was then able to get his car running again and continued for two more laps, before eventually returning to the pits to retire the car.

Explaining what happened, Leclerc said: “I unbuckled myself once I knew that there was a problem with the engine. I didn’t think I would go again. And then I re-put them on, on the way to go again on the track.

“I did one slow lap, especially to know if the engine was working properly again or not. And then on the second lap when I started to push I realised that one of the four buckles we have as a seatbelt was not on. So I told it to the team and I stopped straight away.”

The legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit consists of long straights in the first and final sectors of the lap meaning straight-line performance and engine power is critical.

Ferrari has often languished in the bottom end of the speed trap figures in 2020 and Leclerc expects Ferrari to “suffer” this weekend for that very reason.

“I don’t think there are any particular things to do for here as it is already a pretty low downforce track, it is the same for everyone.

“I think we will suffer a bit in the first and third sector but the second sector is still very powerful for lap time and hopefully we can gain some time on our competitors there.”

 

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