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Formula 1 Saudi Arabian GP

Leclerc: Not "much more I could do" to win F1 Saudi Arabian GP

Charles Leclerc says there was nothing more he and his Ferrari team could have done to try and hold off Max Verstappen in the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Leclerc and Verstappen fought out an enjoyable duel on the streets of Jeddah, with Leclerc leading for long spells of the night race but with Verstappen hounding him and remaining within striking distance.

In the last couple of laps, Verstappen's straight-line speed advantage in the Red Bull finally proved too much for Leclerc, the Dutchman making the racing winning move with four laps to go into Turn 1.

After the race Leclerc said he and his Ferrari team "did everything right" in the race, which included a clever dummy pitstop call to force erstwhile leader Sergio Perez into an earlier pitstop.

"I don't think there was much more I could do," Leclerc told Sky Sports F1.

"There was one opportunity that we missed a little bit with the yellow flag in Turn 1, so we didn't have the DRS there and it could have been an opportunity to at least be alongside Max at the end of the straight.

"Apart from that, I think we did everything right as a team, strategy, pitstops, the dummy call on Checo at the beginning, so we are working very well as a team.

" I think the only thing that we missed this race is maybe a bit of a lower downforce level. But development will be key this year, and we need to push the maximum.

Leclerc and Verstappen both played games in the final corner to try and gain the DRS on each other onto the main straight, which Verstappen described as "smart tricks".

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Leclerc explained that his gamesmanship, which including slowing down on purpose to force Verstappen's overshoot ahead of the DRS detection line, was down to his realisation that his top speed deficit would otherwise make it hard to keep the Dutchman behind.

"I was trying to do everything I could," he explained. "I knew that my weakness was the speed in the straights compared to Red Bull, they were incredibly quick down the straights.

"The second to last straight I was just half throttle trying for Max to overtake me and for me to have the DRS.

"It worked once and then the second time, he understood so he braked very early and then there was a bit of a mess, but I think it was it was fun.

"I like the racing like this, and it was actually much easier to follow than what I initially thought, so it's good."

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