FIA race director Michael Masi caused a degree of confusion as he altered the rules relating to turn four between the two Friday practice sessions, notably declaring lap times would be deleted for cars going beyond the red-and-white kerb.
For the race, however, Masi reverted back to his pre-event position that exceeding track limits would not be monitored, only to warn Mercedes‘ Lewis Hamilton during the grand prix that if he continued to go beyond the kerb he would be penalised.
Masi felt that with Hamilton exceeding track limits on 29 occasions, he was starting to gain what has been described as ‘a lasting advantage’.
Assessing what transpired over the weekend, a bemused Leclerc said: “I have to be honest, I don’t really understand why it changed from day to day.
“The rule was clear for us for the race that we could go out but not if it was for an overtaking or something like that.
“But I didn’t really understand why it changed from Saturday [when lap times were deleted]. I think it would have been more straightforward to keep the rules as on Saturday.”
New Scuderia team-mate Charles Leclerc concurred, believing for any fan watching at home the situation would have been confusing. He said: “For me, as a driver, it was clear what was allowed and what was not allowed.
“What I really don’t understand is why it changed from day to day. For the fans, the people back home, it’s difficult to keep up to date with all these changes and to know exactly what’s going on.
“For the drivers at least, I knew if I overtook someone using the track limits I would be having to let the other car by, so at least that was clear.”