“You Can Never Count Him Out”: Former F1 Driver Warns Max Verstappen of Pressure-Driven Charles Leclerc

Published 05/10/2022, 2:23 PM EDT
May 7, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands talks with pole sitter Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco following qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix at Miami International Autodrome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The much-awaited United States Grand Prix has finally concluded. The inaugural Miami race saw Max Verstappen take the chequered flag ahead of championship leader Charles Leclerc. Guess who was in the limelight this weekend? Well, no points for guessing as it was all about Max and Charles throughout.

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The Max-Charles duel started this week from Saturday’s qualification and ended when the duo crossed the finish line. This isn’t the first time the duo shared the podium together. Back in March 2022, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix saw the Red Bull driver come up against the Ferrari driver to take his first win of the season.

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The recent race in Florida saw Verstappen toppling Leclerc once again to reduce the gap in driver’s standings. As for Charles, he has been on the back foot off late. The last time the Ferrari driver won a race was in Australia a month ago. Despite the drawback recently, Leclerc’s former teammate Marcus Ericsson thinks it’s too early to rule him out.

Formula One F1 – Miami Grand Prix – Miami International Autodrome, Miami, Florida, U.S. – May 7, 2022 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc celebrates after qualifying in pole position with second place Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and third place Red Bull’s Max Verstappen REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Marcus was Charles’s teammate at Alfa Romeo when the duo raced together for the Italian team. Talking about Charles’s performance in the US and the upcoming season, Ericsson conveyed, “He was right there and you know trying to take advantage of it. It was not far away that he could have a go on him as well. So you know that shows that he’s in the mix all the time. You can never count him out.”

Why Charles Leclerc still continues to lead?

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As of now, Charles still leads the driver’s championship with 104 points. In the five races the Monegasque appeared, he took two victories, two P2 and one P6. Interestingly, the race in Emilia Romagna in Italy saw Charles running in P3 until he lost his footing and crashed against the barrier.

The 2022 season has been a Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen show throughout. With the Dutchman winning all the races he finished this season, the duo shared five wins out of five. As Charles took three poles as compared to Max’s one, the duo picked up four and three podiums, respectively.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Spectacular F1 Helmet Designs At 2022 Miami- GP ft. Daniel Ricciardo Lando Norris

With the title race heating up, who do you think is the favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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Sabyasachi Biswas

359 articles

Sabyasachi Biswas is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. He has completed his Master's in Mass Communication and Journalism from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Sabyasachi is an ardent Red Bull and Max Verstappen fan and has been following the sport for over a decade now.

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