Charles Leclerc, the Ferrari Monegasque driver, asserted that he would have “acted in the same manner” when addressing any concerns regarding Max Verstappen’s defensive move during the Sprint race which took place yesterday at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.
The Red Bull driver, starting from pole position in the 19-lap race that preceded the United States Grand Prix, swiftly veered across the track to block the Ferrari driver’s path heading into Turn 1.
Charles Leclerc, who stared from second place, found himself forced onto the red-painted apron as the Dutchman aggressively closed the door, subsequently ceding position to Lewis Hamilton as the Mercedes driver exploited the Ferrari’s compromised racing line exiting the initial corner at Circuit of the Americas. When asked about his opinion on whether Verstappen’s defense was excessive, Charles Leclerc shared his thoughts with the media at the end of the Sprint event:
“To be honest, I would have done exactly the same if I was in his position. It was on the limit but as I have said in the past, that is the way I like to fight. It didn’t play out my way but that is fine. It is a part of racing and I am happy with it.” – the Monegasque driver pointed out.
Although there was a moment in the Sprint race when Charles Leclerc had built a lead of more than six seconds over Lando Norris from McLaren in the battle for the third position, they eventually crossed the finish line in close proximity to each other. Nevertheless, the Monegasque managed to secure the third-place finish.
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“We struggled a little bit with the tyres so we need to work a little bit for the race because this is going to be key. We seemed to be struggling with the rear tyres towards the end. We have got to try to understand what we can do better even though we cannot change the car. Let’s see.” – the Ferrari man concluded.