Leclerc congratulates Verstappen after a ‘tough but fair’ battle

Charles Leclerc

After the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc is still on top of the World Championship standings, however, it was Max Verstappen who took the win in Jeddah.

Charles Leclerc

During his “intense but fair” clash in Saudi Arabia with Red Bull opponent Max Verstappen, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc believes he was expected to push like he’s “rarely pushed before.”

During a mid-race Safety Car interlude, Leclerc stole the lead away from pole-sitter Sergio Perez, but was pursued and overhauled by Verstappen in the closing circuits.

“It was [smart racing], but it wasn’t enough [to win] today,” said Leclerc. “But my god, I really enjoyed that race!

“We are on a street track and we’ve been pushing like I’ve rarely pushed before, to the absolute limit.

“We took risks at the end, so there is respect, but I’m a bit disappointed.”

Leclerc: Every race should be like this!

During the final phases, the two drivers swapped places several times, much as they done in Bahrain for the season’s first round a week previously.

At first, Charles was the car trying to remain ahead, but with five circuits to go, Verstappen accomplished his overtake, turning the tables and leaving the Monegasque needing to pull off a last-ditch attempt – which he couldn’t.

He continued: “It’s hard racing, but fair – every race it should be like this! I’m, of course, disappointed. I wanted to win today.

“I think we had two very different configurations between Max, Checo [Perez] and both the Ferraris.

“We were quite quick in the corners, but slow on the straights, so it was extremely difficult for me to cover Max on the straights. But he did a great job and it was a fun race.”

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Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc, F1, F1 2022, Ferrari, Formula 1, Grand Prix, Max Verstappen, Red Bull

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