Le Mans-leading Ferrari hit with major penalty for BMW crash

AF Corse driver Robert Kubica was attempting to lap Dries Vanthoor in the seventh hour of the race when he sideswiped the BMW at the end of the Mulsanne straight, sending the car head-on into the barriers.

Due to the contact with the armco, Vanthoor spun to the other side of the track, where he came to a stop with serious damage to the front of the car.

The #15 BMW immediately stopped on the spot, with race control deploying a safety car to assist in the recovery of the vehicle.

The stewards began investigating the incident shortly afterwards, but it was not until the safety car period ended in the ninth hour that a decision was announced.

Kubica was believed to be responsible for the collision, which saw the #83 Ferrari 499P he shares with factory drivers Yifei Ye and Robert Shwartzman given a 30-second stop/go penalty.

The penalty is intended to drop the car from the race lead, as the safety car had bunched up the field and wiped out its entire lead – which at one point was almost a minute.

The #8 Toyota GR010 HYBRID of Ryo Hirakawa looks ready to move to the front after Kubica heads to the pit lane to serve the penalty.

#15 BMW M Team WRT BMW M Hybrid V8: Dries Vanthoor, Raffaele Marciello, Marco Wittmann

#15 BMW M Team WRT BMW M Hybrid V8: Dries Vanthoor, Raffaele Marciello, Marco Wittmann

Photo by: Rainier Ehrhardt