Charles Leclerc Heroic in Las Vegas
Charles Leclerc will most likely end 2023 without any victories, but the season for the Monegasque driver will not be at all anonymous for Ferrari enthusiasts and fans. Yesterday, the Scuderia’s representative in Maranello delivered a feat that is hard to forget on the final lap of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, when he secured second place from Sergio Perez with what French TV called “an insane braking maneuver.”
At that point, Charles Leclerc had also tried to resist on the outside, prolonging the braking unbelievably when Max Verstappen definitively took the lead, returning the same overtake that Leclerc had accomplished in the first stint when, with medium tires, the Ferrari proved to be gentler on the rubber compared to the Red Bull. With hard tires, the comparison is impossible to make because Charles Leclerc had to subject his hard compounds to a second thermal cycle due to the Safety Car entering the track to clean up debris from the contact between George Russell and Max Verstappen.
Despite everything, Charles Leclerc managed to break the Red Bull’s one-two, and the Las Vegas verdict could have been very different if Carlos Sainz had been alongside the Monegasque on the front row, unfortunately sent to the midfield by a penalty forced by damage caused by a manhole in the first free practice session.
‘Three overtakes to climb back’ is the title of Leo Turrini’s comment in today’s edition of Il Resto del Carlino: “A Ferrari overtaking Red Bull three times on the track is an epochal event in a season that has seen very little red. With renewed enthusiasm, Charles Leclerc gave a caress to millions of disillusioned Ferrari fans. At the end of the day, with that final masterpiece on Sergio Perez, the Prince of Monaco achieved his best result of the season, given that he never went beyond second place, Charles. But despite small mistakes, this young man is important for the Scuderia.” – Leo Turrini added.
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‘Leclerc Among the Stars of the Show’ headlines Repubblica, in which Alessandra Retico’s article states: “Charles Leclerc, 2nd with soul, because even this time, the pole wasn’t enough for him to celebrate (12 consecutive missed opportunities). Pushed out by Max at the start (5″ penalty for the Dutchman), slowed down by a slow pit stop, unlucky with the safety car, struggling with hard and more worn tires, Charles, however, has a brilliant Ferrari, and he is even more so: he overtakes Red Bull three times, and on the last lap, he devours Perez. In Las Vegas, Ferrari caught bitterness but also new certainties. Leclerc, a lot of them. He needed it after too many races went wrong, including the non-start in Brazil two weeks ago. That final overtake says everything about him.” – the Italian journalist concluded.