Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris fume over safety car decision at Italian Grand Prix

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CHARLES LECLERC and Lando Norris were left livid by the Italian Grand Prix safety car decision.

Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris fume over safety car decision at Italian Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc: The Monegasque was not happy with the safety car decision (Image: Formula 1) SUBSCRIBE Invalid email

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Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris vented their fury on the team radio after the Italian Grand Prix ended behind the safety car. The flag could have been red-flagged after Daniel Ricciardo stopped on the trakc but race control decided to leave the safety car out, allowing Max Verstappen to claim his fifth straight victory.

Leclerc had started on pole while Verstappen was demoted to P7 due to taking a penalty to change his fifth international combustion engine (ICE). But the Dutchman raced through the pack and was amongst the podium places by the end of lap four.

Soon enough, he had hunted down Leclerc and after Ferrari decided to pit the Monegasque under the virtual safety car early on, Red Bull extended their stint on the soft tyre before pitting on lap 26.

With Ferrari two-stopping, Verstappen was some 17 seconds clear of Leclerc when Ricciardo stopped by the side of the road on lap 48. But despite clearing the car away three laps later, the safety car remained on the track, much to the dissatisfaction of Norris and Leclerc. 

READ MORE: Horner warns Ferrari and sets Verstappen ‘damage limitation’ target

Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris fume over safety car decision at Italian Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc: The Ferrari driver was unhappy with the decision (Image: Formula 1)

With the cars slowed down to minimum speed until the finish, Leclerc was the first to utter his disapproval at the decision from race control to finish under a safety car.

A red flag would have ensured all the cars can change their tyres and guarantee two laps of pure racing, and it appeared to be justified after the time it took to clear Ricciardo’s car.

And a frustrated Leclerc shouted: “Come on, it’s clear! Come on!”, while Norris shouted an expletive on the radio after his team confirmed the safety would be staying out.

When asked about the incident, Leclerc bemoaned the decision not to allow a last-lap race to the line: “It’s frustrating, I wish that we did get a bit of racing [at the end] and unfortunately we were second at that stage because of what happened before.

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Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris fume over safety car decision at Italian Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc: The Monegasque was stuck behind the safety car (Image: Formula 1)

“It’s a shame but overall I gave it my all to get P2 today. We didn’t know what they were going to do behind so we took that choice.

“I finished second, so I am not extremely happy with the race. I think the pace was quite strong today.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, who saw Verstappen claim his 11th win of the season from 16 races, admitted he felt there was sufficient time to get the safety car in and guarantee at least one lap of racing at the end.

“I think they probably had enough time to get that going,” he said, when quizzed on the matter by Sky Sports F1.

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