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Ex-Ferrari Boss Jumps to Max Verstappen’s Defense as Crime Against Charles Leclerc Dubbed Inevitable

Published 11/20/2023, 11:05 AM EST

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In a Las Vegas Grand Prix marred by controversy, Max Verstappen‘s bold move against Charles Leclerc has sparked a debate. Despite securing victory, the Dutchman faces criticism for the first-lap clash that led to a five-second penalty. Surprisingly, the ex-Ferrari boss defends Max Verstappen, asserting the incident’s inevitability due to strategic setup, from the Red Bull driver.

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The Las Vegas GP took an unexpected turn as the opening lap clash between the Red Bull maestro and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc ignited a controversy. The Dutchman’s audacious maneuver forced both the drivers off the track. This prompted the stewards to impose a five-second penalty on Max Verstappen. However, he did eventually end up winning his 18th race of the season.

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Although the 26-year-old Verstappen won the race eventually, Red Bull‘s decision not to instruct him to cede the lead back to the Monegasque driver became a focal point. The team’s gamble, opting to let Max Verstappen keep the lead and serve the penalty, raised questions about the strategic choices.

Ex-Ferrari boss Peter Windsor entered the fray, offering a unique perspective on the incident. “He’d [Max Verstappen] taken the lead at the first corner, I wouldn’t say from the start. He was alongside Charles for a millisecond in the braking area as they went into the first corner, the tight left-hander. And you could just see what Max was doing.”


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“It was a classic Karting… I mean, he’s got such a good racing brain, isn’t he? You could see him thinking. Well, I’m going to go for it here down the inside with Charles. And if I run wide, of course, I’m going to have a bit of understeer, and it’s not my fault, you know, cold tires, everything else. And that’s exactly what happened,” Windsor concluded.

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The Las Vegas GP showcased the competitive spirit between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. However, the post-race dynamics unveiled a different story. Despite the tension on the track, the bromance between the two drivers remained unscathed.

There is no love lost between the Dutchman and the Monegasque after the Las Vegas GP clash

Max Verstappen’s aggressive start from the dirty side of the grid led to a momentary lead, but the subsequent incident with Leclerc and the penalty added a layer of drama. Despite their on-track clash and differences over the penalty, the two drivers engaged in a calm debrief after the race.

Leclerc, reflecting on the incident, shared, “When it happened, I was not happy because he clearly lost control of the car and pushed me wide. He told me he was too much on the inside and lost grip, and he apologized. So it’s like this; he took his penalty and he served it.”


Verstappen, too, acknowledged the adrenaline-fueled moment, stating, “At that moment, you’re full of adrenaline, and I didn’t agree with it. But looking back, I think it was probably the right call by the stewards.” The mature response from both drivers showcased a strong mutual respect despite the intense competition on the Formula 1 circuit.


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As fans and pundits continue to dissect the events of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, the clash between Verstappen and Leclerc raises broader questions about the balance between aggressive racing and adherence to racing rules. Share your thoughts on this dramatic incident and its aftermath in the comments below.

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Written by:

Veerendra Vikram Singh


One take at a time

I come from a family that lives and breathes football, but I never quite fit that mold. Ever since I was a kid, something about motorsport drew me in and helped me develop a lifelong love for racing. The sight of stock cars zipping past close to 200 miles an hour bumper to bumper just makes you appreciate the sport in a different way.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare