Leclerc explains sensational Bottas pass in F1 Spanish GP

Charles Leclerc says trying to get out of dirty air from cars ahead of him triggered his sensational Turn 3 overtake on Valtteri Bottas in Formula 1’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Leclerc explains sensational Bottas pass in F1 Spanish GP

The Ferrari driver qualified third at Barcelona and was right behind Bottas after the start as they came out of the opening sequence of corners.

However, he seized a brilliant opportunity to go around the outside of Bottas at Turn 3 in a move that was reminiscent of a similar effort that Fernando Alonso pulled off on Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton in 2013.

But rather than Leclerc having pre-planned his manoeuvre, Leclerc said it was a spur of the moment thing after he went out wide in a bid to find some clear air.

“It wasn't planned,” explained Leclerc.

“I just saw the opportunity at the time when I was in the car, and I just went for it. It seemed to work fine.

“I was trying to find a different line to Valtteri , because Valtteri was following Lewis.

"And when you are obviously behind the car, you're losing so much downforce that I was just trying to get offline.

“Then, as soon as I saw that I had quite a bit of grip on the outside, I just went for the overtake and it worked out pretty well.”

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Leclerc also revealed to Sky TV that he had never previously seen the Alonso move when watching previous Spanish GPs, so was unaware that it had been done before.

“Everyone is telling me [about] that but actually, I don't even know what you're talking about,” he said. “I have never seen this overtake.

“Was it at the start for him too? Because I think it's a lot more difficult during the race to be honest with all the marbles around the outside.

Read Also:

"So I went for the easy solution on lap one.”

Bottas himself said that he had been caught out by Hamilton and Max Verstappen battling ahead of him, and hadn’t noticed Leclerc go for the pass.

“To be honest, I didn’t see Charles in Turn 3,” said the Mercedes driver.

“Once I saw him, on the outside going a lot quicker than me, then it was too late. So, yeah, need to review that.

“In Turn 1, 2, there’s only one line, and you can’t do much. I knew that I could keep my place there. 

"But then in Turn 3, I was really trying to follow closely Lewis on the inside and had no chance that Charles was so close. 

"He managed to get good grip and a line from the outside.”

Leclerc held on to third position throughout the opening stint, but came home fourth after Bottas was able to jump him and take the final podium spot during the pit stop phase.

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton wants new Mercedes F1 contract agreed by summer break

Previous article

Hamilton wants new Mercedes F1 contract agreed by summer break

Next article

Autosport Podcast: F1 Spanish GP review

Autosport Podcast: F1 Spanish GP review
Load comments
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future Plus

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Autosport in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Plus

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbonfibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Plus

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021