Red Bull chief calls for Charles Leclerc disqualification after Ferrari error in Abu Dhabi


The Ferrari driver is under investigation for a fuel discrepancy ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Christian Horner thinks he will be disqualified.

Red Bull chief Christian Horner thinks Charles Leclerc will be disqualified from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after the stewards found a fuel discrepancy. Leclerc started the race on the second row but quickly overtook Max Verstappen to trail only Lewis Hamilton.

Horner believes Leclerc will have to be disqualified when the stewards look at the issue after the final race of the season.

“Theoretically, I can’t see how he won’t be,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s a technical reg.”

And Sky Sports analyst Ted Kravitz agreed and think it will result in Ferrari having to take a hit at the end of the race.

“With this directive, you are either legal or you’re not. You can’t explain it away.”

Leclerc is currently 11 points behind Verstappen in the drivers’ championship and would love to finish third and be the best driver outside the dominant Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

The youngster could also have had a lot more points if it hadn’t been for poor Ferrari mistakes and strategy calls as well as unreliability.

A statement from FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer read: “The fuel declaration of car number 16 was checked before the car left the pit-lane.

“There was a significant difference between the declaration of the team and the amount of fuel inside the car.

“As this is non in compliance with TD/12-19 I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.”

It means Ferrari could face an embarrassing end to the season where they have been beaten comfortably by Mercedes.

Ahead of the race Mercedes chief Toto Wolff explained he expected Ferrari to challenge despite their poor qualifying.

“I think Verstappen was the strongest in comparison to us on the long runs on Friday, but Ferrari are Ferrari,” said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

“They are fast on the straights, that gives them an overtaking opportunity, and I think all of us will have a chance for the victory.”

Martin Brundle also gave his verdict on what has been an entertaining 2019 season, despite Hamilton dominating.

He explained: “I think the young drivers have generally energised this season for me. Particularly you can’t get too much of Verstappen vs Hamilton – and we might see some more down into Turn One.

“But I does have to say Mercedes does have an advantage here which they didn’t in Brazil. Ferrari struggling particularly in the last sector, so not quite sure how the race is going to pan out.

“But we heard the expressions back in Brazil of ‘gloves off’, ‘nothing to lose’ and that very much remains the case here this evening.”


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