“I Did Not Plan That”- Charles Leclerc Surprised Himself with Overtake on Valtteri Bottas

Published 05/09/2021, 3:32 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 9, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during the race REUTERS/Albert Gea


During the Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc surprised many at the start of the race. When the lights went out, he and Max Verstappen got excellent launches off the grid, with the Dutchman taking the lead. Meanwhile, the Monegasque slotted in behind Valtteri Bottas and waited to pounce.

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Then, at the long right-hander at Turn 3, he got a great run on Bottas and sailed past the Finn. Suffice to say, the Ferrari driver did not see the move coming at all, though Bottas got him back eventually.

He said, “Quite a good start, I have to say. I didn’t have a slipstream, unfortunately so I lost a little bit there. Then I think we can see a McLaren around the outside of Turn 1.

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“I thought it would be tricky to stay in front, but I managed to do so. I did not plan that at all, I just saw that there was a free line on the outside and went for it.”

What else did Charles Leclerc say about the move on Bottas?

The young Ferrari man was just glad that the move worked in his favor. Speaking to the 2009 F1 champion, Jenson Button, Leclerc denied that he took a page out of Fernando Alonso’s book. Leclerc confessed that performing such a move at the start of the race is a lot more difficult.

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Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during qualifying REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Especially considering that there were a lot of ‘marbles’ around the outside. In light of that, Charles Leclerc decided to go for the ‘easy’ solution in Lap 1. Leclerc also confessed that the 2021 car is a lot better than its predecessor, though he could not explain it better.

According to him, the new Ferrari had more power, downforce, and grip. Last year’s car struggled a lot, especially during high fuel runs.

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Now, the Monegasque is looking forward to racing on home soil in two weeks’ time. This is when the Formula One fraternity heads to the Circuit de Monte Carlo in Monaco.

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Dhruv George

12013 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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