Charles Leclerc shockingly disagrees with Mattia Binotto in support of FIA

Charles Leclerc's third place finish meant Max Verstappen had won the 2022 World Championship at the Japanese GP.

Charles Leclerc has surprisingly supported the FIA in their decision to award him a five-second time penalty at the Japanese Grand Prix, something which left team principal Mattia Binotto seething.

The Monegasque had been looking set for another second-place finish, despite having put Max Verstappen under some pressure during the start of the restarted wet race.

However, poor tyre wear on his Intermediates saw the Monegasque fall into the grasp of Sergio Pérez, who was looking set to finish third.

The duo battled for the last few laps at the Suzuka International Racing Course, but it was looking for all the world that the Ferrari driver was going to secure second.

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Leclerc made a huge error on the final lap though and went across the Turn 16/17 chicane before continuing to cross the line in second.

Pérez finished directly behind him and was crucially denied the chance to try to get past Leclerc, due to the Ferrari driver cutting the corner.

As a result, Leclerc was awarded a five-second time penalty and was therefore demoted to third, with Pérez inheriting second.

This penalty gifted Verstappen the World Championship, although, he was going to win it eventually anyway!

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Binotto was very frustrated in the FIA’s decision; however, Leclerc supported the stewards and deemed that it was the “right thing to do”.

“Well, I don’t have much to say,” Leclerc told media post-race.

“I did a mistake and tried to minimise it by trying to go straight.

“I was not aware this was the last lap but the five-second penalty was the right thing to do be honest.”

When the race restarted it actually looked like Leclerc had better pace than Verstappen, as the 24-year-old was able to run very close to the Red Bull star.

His tyres became worn out incredibly fast, though, with his Intermediates looking more like slicks by the end of the race.

Leclerc revealed just how quickly the tyres degraded and admitted he was “really struggling”.

“We were very fast for four or five laps, but unfortunately, the race was a bit longer than that,” he said.

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“The fronts were just gone after four or five laps, and after that was all about trying to survive until the end of the race. The end was extremely difficult.

“Obviously, Checo put in quite a bit of pressure behind and I was really, really struggling with with both of my front tyres.

“At the end, I ended up making a mistake. But we were really, really struggling today.”