Palmer Slams Leclerc For Driving On-Track Without a Seatbelt

After the Ferraris only managed to qualify ninth and eleventh on the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix, it was clear the race was always going to be an uphill battle for the team.

And on lap 36, things took a turn for the worse, with Charles Leclerc’s SF1000 spinning at the chicane in the last sector due to an electrical issue with the car.

This caused the car to stall – and Leclerc eventually gave up on restarting the engine and took off his seatbelt.

However, Ferrari asked him to try one more time. This time the engine did switch back on, and Leclerc drove his Ferrari back to the pitlane to retire the car.

Unsurprisingly, Leclerc has drawn flak for driving his Formula 1 car while not wearing a seatbelt.

Jolyon Palmer, who drove for Renault during his relatively brief F1 career, has called Leclerc’s actions “dangerous”.

“Driving a lap with seatbelts undone in Formula 1 seems like the most dangerous think you could possibly do,” Palmer said.

“You can’t drive in a 30 zone without your seatbelt on, let alone doing 150mph with 19 racing cars going wheel-to-wheel either side of you.

“Barriers [are] not all that far away at times as well. I’m sure Leclerc came back as steadily as he could, but you’re still on a live race track in the middle of a grand prix. There’s no safety car,” he added. 

Sebastian Vettel fared better than his teammate at the Spanish GP, with the German driver pulling off a one-stop strategy to claim P7 and was voted Driver of the Day.

The four-time World Champion has strongly been linked with a move to Racing Point for the 2021 season.

According to reports from Italy, he will sign a $15 million contract with the team, which will be re-branded Aston Martin Racing next year, at the Belgium Grand Prix in late August.

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