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“It’s Just Unfortunate”: Settling for $117,900,000 Prize, Charles Leclerc Rues Over F1’s Bittersweet Reality

Published 09/26/2023, 12:27 PM EDT

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via Imago

Formula 1 drivers are hard-wired to win. However, in reality, the sport doesn’t always give them that comfort. When Charles Leclerc would’ve started on his journey to F1, he would’ve been taught that coming 2nd is never an option. With the ‘pure’ racing of the lower categories and formulas, the talented Monegasque would’ve made it a habit of winning with his supreme skills. Fast forward to F1, and no matter how hard you drive, you’re only going to do as well as your machinery can. Unfortunately, Leclerc would’ve thought things would change when he signed with Ferrari.

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Ferrari and F1 glory are almost synonymous. When you drive for the Scuderia, you drive to win. However, for Leclerc, the team from Maranello hasn’t really hit their stride ever since he came into the team. Now, as 2023 becomes the biggest example of their failings, the 25-year-old has a bitter pill he needs to swallow.

Charles Leclerc bows down to fate


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Max Verstappen has really just sucked out all the hope from his competition. The 2x champion and his RB19 have been utterly dominant all year. As a result, even with races remaining on the calendar, Leclerc has already thrown in the towel, and who can blame him?

via Reuters

Mathematically now out of contention for the Constructors’ championship, Leclerc was quoted by as saying, “They [Red Bull] are a bit further away in the constructors, but all three teams are super close. So it’s going to be an exciting [end to the] season. It’s just unfortunately for the second place.”


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Luckily for him, Ferrari might still get their hands on a $117,900,000 cash prize for 2nd in the Constructors if they can edge Mercedes out. On the flip side, settling for 2nd may actually become the new normal for him.

Leclerc fears prolonged Red Bull domination


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In 2023 alone, what the Bulls and Max Verstappen have achieved together is nothing short of traumatic for their rivals. That being said, there is an underlying fact in the sublimity of Verstappen & Co. that gives Leclerc a nightmare.

via Imago

A grim reality dawned on Leclerc as he told the media at the 2023 Dutch GP weekend, “They have a really big margin and it’s going to be very difficult to catch them before the change of regulations (in 2026).”


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Will Red Bull dominate through to 2026?

WATCH THIS STORY | Is Carlos Sainz Looking to Move Away from Ferrari?

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Written by:

Anirban Aly Mandal


One take at a time

Anirban Aly Mandal is a senior F1 writer at EssentiallySports, with over 1000 articles published on the platform. Anirban's love for F1 started when he discovered a copy of F1 2014 while playing on his computer, and he has since then dived deep into the world of motorsports. Anirban's expertise goes beyond just writing - he has also written several academic papers focused on the domain of motorsports.
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Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar