Leclerc vs. Verstappen: Former hate duel less aggressive

“What was that?” Charles Leclerc sparked the 2019 Austrian GP when he simply narrowly missed out on the win when he deemed it secure for Max Verstappen. The Monegasque led the race from pole till the ultimate stage, when the oncoming Verstappen attacked.

Verstappen gained the battle with a pointy maneuver on the Remus hairpin. The entrance wheels of the 2 automobiles collided and Leclerc went off the street over the sausage rims. The Dutchman needed to worry his victory for a number of hours, however in the long run the stewards accepted a brutal tempo.

Verstappen and Leclerc conflict for victory in Austria in 2019, Photo: LAT Images

It was an essential choice: Leclerc drove the automotive simply as arduous any further. At the subsequent race at Silverstone, he dislocated his elbow in a head-to-head battle with Verstappen. The newest revenge occurred final weekend. On his method to victory on the Red Bull Ring, Leclerc overtook the world champion thrice (!) on the observe – and with out crashing.

Verstappen resisted the primary overtaking manoeuvre, however solely partially resisted within the second and third maneuvers because of Leclerc’s tire benefit. The in any other case charming and reserved Ferrari driver himself admitted that he “hated” Verstappen throughout karting. What occurred to the previous rivalry?

“I like preventing with Max. Of course, we all know one another for a very long time. He has at all times raced past the boundaries,” defined Leclerc. We’ve been collectively for years and know one another’s weaknesses. We know one another properly, in order that makes it enjoyable. There is nice respect between us.”

Duel 2022 is all collision free

In truth, the 2 rivals have battled with none accidents even earlier than this season’s Austrian Grand Prix: in Bahrain, Jeddah and Miami, regardless of typically troublesome races, they by no means clashed within the battle for the lead. In the race at Spielberg, Leclerc and Verstappen as soon as once more proved their perfection within the final three years.

Leclerc averted comparisons with final yr’s troublesome World Championship battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton: “I do not need to say something concerning the battle between Max and Lewis. I did not take part in that battle as a result of I did not have enjoyable. Last yr the positions had been fought Last yr, Ferrari was nonetheless in a battle for third place within the Constructors’ Championship between the normal groups and McLaren, which the Scuderia gained.

In Saudi Arabia, the fight between the two former karting rivals has reached the finish line, Photo: LAT Images
In Saudi Arabia, the battle between the 2 former karting rivals has reached the end line, Photo: LAT Images

There can be no animosity between the Ferrari and Red Bull groups as seen in final yr’s title battle. Red Bull Motorsport director Helmut Marko has repeatedly emphasised how rather more pleasurable the competitors with Ferrari is in comparison with final yr’s Mercedes.

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