Having gone three abreast with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso into Turn 1 at the start of Sunday’s race, the pair ran wide at the corner before the front wing on Leclerc’s Ferrari clipped Gasly’s rear-left tyre on the run to Turn 3. 

The slight contact caused Gasly to suffer a puncture and the Frenchman went onto to tag both Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo and Nicholas Latifi’s Williams in the Turn 3 braking zone as he was swallowed up by the pack.

Gasly was forced to retire at the end of the first tour with suspension damage on his AlphaTauri, while Leclerc also had to make an early stop to service his front wing, resulting in him dropping to 17th. 

F1 drivers were told at the start of the season that the FIA would be taking a stricter approach to first lap incidents this year, but Leclerc’s collision with Gasly and resulting melee at Turn 3 was not investigated. 

Asked whether the incident was looked at, Masi replied: “Yes it was looked at as part of the lead up of the Turn 3 incident that was noted on the screen.

“It was deemed one of those that, being a first-lap type matter, and considering the whole situation, it was noted that no further investigation was necessary.”

Leclerc believes both drivers were simply caught out due to moving at exactly the same moment when the contact occurred. 

“I was on the left of Pierre, I think he was trying to take the slipstream of the guys that were slightly to his left and went to the left at the same time that I was trying to get behind him,” the Monegasque explained. 

“We just got surprised, both of us and we had contact. It was very small contact that had very big consequences for both of us.”

Giving his version of events, a frustrated Gasly insisted there was not much he could have done to avoid the unfortunate coming together.

“There was contact and I completely punctured the whole rear,” he said. “I ended up on three wheels or even two wheels and some point, so definitely not what we wanted and a big shame. 

“I didn’t really see the replays, not yet, but, in the end, it’s not going to change what happened. I was in the middle of the straight when this happened, so I don’t think there was a lot I could do, and it’s a shame.”

Later in the race, Leclerc nicked the front wing on Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo moments after overtaking the Finn on the run to Turn 4 but Masi confirmed the incident “wasn’t looked at”. 

Leclerc also survived another close call with Alonso as swept by at the same corner during his charge through the field to P7.