Leclerc handed Monaco grid penalty for Norris tunnel incident

Leclerc was judged to have impeded Lando Norris in the final part of qualifying for the Monaco GP.


Charles Leclerc has received a three-place grid penalty for impeding the McLaren of Lando Norris during qualifying for the Monaco GP.

The Ferrari driver was judged to have blocked Norris, who was on a flying lap, in the tunnel section of the track during Q3, causing him to lose his final chance to improve his time.

The drivers have an agreement not to go slowly in the tunnel section in Monaco, given that vision is impeded by the change of light and blind corner.

The incident marks another disappointment for Leclerc at his home race after initially qualifying in third behind pole-sitter Max Verstappen and the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso.

Steward’s Decision

“The¬†Stewards¬†heard¬†from¬†the¬†driver¬†of¬†Car¬†16¬†(Charles¬†Leclerc),¬†the¬†driver¬†of¬†Car¬†4 (Lando¬†Norris),¬†team¬†representatives¬†and¬†reviewed¬†positioning/marshalling¬†system data,¬†video,¬†timing¬†data,¬†team¬†radio¬†and¬†in-car¬†video¬†evidence.

Leclerc had finished his final lap of Q3 and was in the Turn 4 through Turn 10 complex. Norris was on a fast lap and caught Leclerc in the middle of the tunnel and was clearly impeded.

Both drivers agreed that there was little that Leclerc could have safely done in the tunnel to avoid impeding Norris, given the difficulty in vision due to the light entering and in the tunnel and the change of lines from one side of the tunnel to the other. 

In fact, the Stewards observed that Leclerc reacted in a sensible way to a blue flag displayed by the marshals, but at this point it was too late.

However, the Stewards reviewed team radio, and Leclerc’s team failed to give him any warning about Norris’ approach until Norris was already directly behind him.

Further, the discussion during the preceding portion of the track was entirely about competing drivers, not the traffic behind, which is a critical task at this track.

The Stewards believe that there is much that Leclerc could have done prior to the tunnel to avoid the impeding had he received warning from the team at an appropriate time, especially considering that Norris’ approach was clear on the marshalling system. 

Thus,¬†the¬†Stewards¬†consider¬†that¬†the¬†impeding¬†was¬†unnecessary.¬†The¬†Stewards¬†reviewed¬†all the¬†preceding¬†unnecessarily¬†impeding¬†penalties¬†in¬†the¬†past few¬†years.¬†In¬†every¬†case,¬†the¬†actions,¬†or¬†inaction¬†of¬†the¬†team¬†did¬†not¬†mitigate¬†the unnecessary¬†impeding.¬†Thus¬†the¬†Stewards¬†impose¬†the¬†usual¬†penalty¬†of¬†a¬†three¬†grid drop.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
- Advertisment -


Liam Lawson prepares for free practice at the 2022 Mexican Grand Prix | Peter Fox/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull bosses agree on Liam Lawson F1 prospects in 2025

Christian Horner and RB CEO Peter Bayer refused to back Liam Lawson's prospects for a full-time Formula 1 drive...
Carlos Sainz looks on at the 2024 Monaco GP | Ferrari

After Carlos Sainz’s Mercedes denial, why does his future remain an enigma?

Ferrari swinging the axe on Carlos Sainz's career in scarlet must have stung, but the Spaniard at least had...
Charles Leclerc dives into the Monaco harbour | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Where does Charles Leclerc rank 2024 Monaco Grand Prix win?

Charles Leclerc is a race winner for the first time in almost two years as the Ferrari ace crushed...
Charles Leclerc celebrates winning the 2024 Monaco GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

What we learned from the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix may not have served up a classic, but it wasn’t short on storylines as...
Sergio Perez talks to his engineer Hugh Bird and team principal Christian Horner in the garage | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Look away Checo – Horner praises Perez’s F1 rival as star fights for Red...

Christian Horner insists Red Bull will make a decision about Sergio Perez's Red Bull future "in the fullness of...
Max Verstappen during 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Winners and Losers of 2024 Monaco GP

Charles Leclerc vanquished his Monte Carlo demons to finally take victory at his home race, while Red Bull continued...
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Driver Ratings – Monaco GP 2024

Charles Leclerc was in dreamland as the Ferrari driver finally celebrated an elusive victory at home race at the...
Josef Newgarden drinks his milk after winning the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: James Black

2024 Indy 500 Race Results

Josef Newgarden joined an elite group of drivers by winning the Indy 500 for the second consecutive year in...
Josef Newgarden celebrates winning the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: Amber Pietz

Newgarden takes sensational Indy 500 win after epic battle for glory

The Indianapolis 500 never fails to excite and even a four-hour rain delay couldn't dampen the drama for IndyCar's...
Tom Blomqvist crashes in Lap 1 at the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: Aaron Skillman

2024 Indy 500: Results and Highlights as Newgarden wins

Welcome to this Total Motorsport live blog for the 2024 Indy 500, is among the most prestigious motorsport events...
- Advertisment -