Charles Leclerc Confirms Verstappen Duel in Austria Made Him More Aggressive in F1

Published 04/06/2021, 8:11 AM EDT
MONTE CARLO, MONACO – MAY 22: Charles Leclerc, Ferrari and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing in Press Conference during the Monaco GP at Monte Carlo on May 22, 2019 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Gareth Harford / Sutton Images)


Charles Leclerc joined Ferrari in 2019 and had an incredible season where he scored 264 points and finished on P4 position. That same year, Max Verstappen beat the Monegasque only by 14 points. The pair had their first battle on the grid at the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix.

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The Red Bull driver finally came on top of the race, while Leclerc finished the race at the P2 position. In a recent interview, the Ferrari driver revealed that since that weekend battle with Verstappen, his driving style has become more aggressive.

“Yup. Partly also because from that weekend the stewards’ approach changed, and we were allowed to go a little beyond what had been the limits up to that point. I think it was good for our sport and I said it straight away at the end of that race despite being disappointed with the result.”

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“I have always thought that if we had allowed us to run with fewer constraints, we would have been able to offer more spectacular races, but we needed a continuity of judging method, as has happened,” explained the Ferrari driver.

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 13, 2021, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Charles Leclerc has adapted well to the situation and has been able to push more without the fear of fines or sanctions.

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Charles Leclerc believes his driving style made the difference in 2020 against his teammate

The 2020 season spelled disaster for the Maranello outfit. They were suffering from engine constraints and as a result, both the drivers suffered to find the speed. However, the Monegasque looked a lot more in control than his teammate, Sebastian Vettel.

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 14, 2021, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc arrive for testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

In a recent interview, he explained that it was probably his driving style that gave him the edge.

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“I think in the end it’s really a question of feeling and driving style. I like a rear that moves so that I can use it to turn the car, other drivers suffer from this aspect.

“The SF1000 had a rear that wasn’t very stable, and for me that aspect was never a problem, but I can’t answer for Seb, it’s just an aspect that concerns my riding style,” stated Leclerc.

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The 2021 season has started much better for Leclerc and Ferraris’ prospects look promising. The Monegasque finished the Bahrain Grand Prix in P6 as Sainz came in at P8. Do you believe Leclerc’s aggressive driving style will help Ferrari get back on the podium regularly?

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Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!

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