Driver of the Day Leclerc Left Heartbroken After His ‘200%’ Goes in Vain Against Hamilton at British GP

Published 07/18/2021, 2:32 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 3, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc arrives at the circuit ahead of practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

The British Grand Prix – an inexplicable race that will be talked about for a long time. The most unfortunate part of the race, barring Verstappen’s crash, was when Charles Leclerc lost the race lead. He led the race magnificently, surpassing everyone’s expectations. However, that last lap is surely going to be one keeping the Monegasque driver up at night.


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The team radio of a very defeated Charles is entirely heartbreaking to hear. The initial silence on Leclerc’s side of the radio divulges enough about the driver’s mindset. “F*ck, f*ck… thanks for the great car. I’m so disappointed.”

After leading 50 laps from the restart, he was just two laps away from victory; so close, yet so far away.


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Lewis Hamilton snatched the lead from Leclerc at Copse, the same spot at which the first lap collision with Max took place.

The Briton, who stood P5 after a pit stop and 10-second time-penalty, caught up with the Ferrari after passing Lando, followed by teammate Bottas on team orders. He then inched closer to Leclerc with a one-second gap with three laps to go. It was a brilliant performance by Hamilton, much to Leclerc’s dismay.

Charles Leclerc – the race leader at Silverstone

Silverstone was an unfortunate two laps away from hearing the Monacan national anthem play on the podium today. What could have been an extremely competitive win for Charles was undermined by the harsh reality of the pace in the Mercedes.

Leclerc stood fourth on the starting grid at Silverstone. With the lights out, he overtook Merecedes’ Valtteri Bottas with ease. Then, the Ferrari driver took a surprising lead on the first lap of the race following the collision of the championship rivals. With a red flag bringing the race to a halt, all eyes were on the red car on top of the grid during restart.

It was easy to assume Hamilton would overtake Charles easily, but the Monegasque put up a brave fight against the Knight when the race resumed. The silver car tried its best to find a way in front, but Charles was determined to defend his position. The dirty air from the Ferrari also caused Lewis to fall back a little.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc leads ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during the race REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Soon, an “aah” moment presented itself, when Charles made the airwaves red, complaining about an engine problem. Hope was lost at that moment, and everyone thought Lewis would get the easy win. A quick fix later, Charles’ radio was up again, with the power issues in the Prancing Horse closing the gap between the two. Hamilton, waiting to pounce, had to wait longer, as the Ferrari was soon optimized.

Charles tactfully held the Mercedes back and maintained the lead.

The dreadful final laps

Disaster struck in the final laps as Lewis was on the hunt, creeping closer and closer to his red target. Soon, it was Hammer time and the gap between them closed as Hamilton found redemption on home soil.

Charles mentioned in a post-race interview how he gave the race 200% but that wasn’t enough. “It is difficult to enjoy 100% but it has been an incredible race, I gave not 100% but I gave 200%, I gave all of me but it was just not enough in the last two laps.”


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It was a luckless race for Leclerc, but all that’s left to say is “Bravissimo Charles!” because it truly was spectacular race on his part.


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Watch this story: Lewis Hamilton: Ranking His F1 World Titles From 2008 to 2020 


Shreya Sanjeev

115 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.



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