Charles Leclerc has been issued a three-place grid penalty for the sprint race in Austria later this afternoon.

Leclerc was found guilty of impeding McLaren’s Oscar Piastri during the Sprint Shootout, the revised qualifying format for the sprint race.

The Monegasque driver ended the session in sixth place, but will now drop to ninth for the start.

According to the stewards, Piastri highlighted that he had to brake as he approached Turn 9 as he saw Leclerc was travelling slowly.

The stewards analysed Piastri’s telemetry and noted that he reduced his speed by approximately 45 km/h compared to his previous fast lap.

 It was judged that Piastri lost half a second in the mini sector as a result.

Leclerc informed the stewards that he was last told about Piastri’s whereabouts on the track as he approached Turn 4 and that he spotted Piastri in his mirrors as he was at Turn 8, while Piastri was at Turn 7.

Ferrari admitted that it “could’ve done better” to communicate Piastri’s rapid approach, while Leclerc acknowledged that if he was warned, he “could’ve done something earlier”

While the stewards judged that a lack of communication from the team was the biggest factor behind the incident, it had no choice but to issue Leclerc a penalty.

As a result, Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll and Esteban Ocon have all moved up one starting spot each.

It marks the third time in four races that Ferrari has been penalised for impeding.

Leclerc was demoted on the Monaco grid for getting in the way of Lando Norris, while Sainz was also punished two weeks ago in Canada for impeding Pierre Gasly.

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