Leclerc: Hamilton-Verstappen British GP F1 clash a racing incident

Charles Leclerc believes the clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in Formula 1’s British Grand Prix was nothing more than a racing incident.

Leclerc: Hamilton-Verstappen British GP F1 clash a racing incident

Leclerc had the best view of the opening lap crash at Silverstone, as he was running right behind the lead Red Bull and Mercedes cars.

While he believes Hamilton had a bit more room to play with at the apex of the corner to avoid contact, the Ferrari driver believes that Verstappen was aggressive with his turn in.

“It is very difficult to judge it from the car; we are very low,” said Leclerc. “So it’s difficult to see.

“Everything went very quick. Obviously I could see there were quite a bit of things going around in front of me. And yeah, I think it’s a racing incident.

“It’s quite difficult to put the blame on one or the other. Obviously there was space on the inside. Maybe Lewis was not completely at the apex but it’s also true that Max was quite aggressive on the outside. So, things happen. What is the most important today is that Max is unharmed and is fine.”

The FIA stewards did not agree that the crash was a racing incident, and they handed a Hamilton a 10-second time penalty.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The clash handed Leclerc the opportunity to take the lead before the red flag, and he maintained his advantage at the front after the restart.

But despite a strong race performance, Leclerc did not quite have the pace to hold on for the win and was overtaken by Hamilton with just three laps to go.

Reflecting on the race, Leclerc felt that until Hamilton actually got him he was on course for his first Ferrari win since 2019.

“Until then I still believed I could win this race, and it’s the way it should be,” he explained.

“If I was thinking of being second before that, I think it will have gone even worse. I believed in it until the very last moment.

“Obviously I had my engineer telling me Lewis’ pace on the hard tyres, and I was like ‘that’s quick’. I was pushing 200% but obviously it wasn't’ good enough to keep that first position in the last laps.”

shares
comments

Related video

Honda: Verstappen's F1 engine could be saved after British GP crash

Previous article

Honda: Verstappen's F1 engine could be saved after British GP crash

Next article

Mercedes: British GP red flag saved Hamilton from retirement

Mercedes: British GP red flag saved Hamilton from retirement
Load comments
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash Plus

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win the Silverstone F1 race Plus

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win the Silverstone F1 race

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021
Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success Plus

Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success

Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend, but despite its familiarity to all the teams it is no picnic. Here are five of the key points for engineers to consider prior to the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 16, 2021
The changing faces of F1’s British GP conquerors Plus

The changing faces of F1’s British GP conquerors

The British Grand Prix is where the world championship began in 1950. STUART CODLING looks at six of Formula 1's era-defining cars which have all scored memorable victories in its original race

Formula 1
Jul 15, 2021