Verstappen: Leclerc’s Imola F1 spin “easily done”

Max Verstappen had sympathy for Formula 1 world title rival Charles Leclerc after he lost an Emilia Romagna Grand Prix podium in a spin as he felt “the mistake is easily done”.

Verstappen: Leclerc’s Imola F1 spin “easily done”

The Red Bull driver dominated the Imola weekend, taking pole position, the sprint race win and victory in the grand prix plus the bonus point for fastest lap, to take maximum points from the Emilia Romagna GP weekend.

Verstappen’s title hopes were given a boost when championship leader Leclerc, who had been hunting down Sergio Perez for second place, spun off at the Variante Alta chicane with 10 laps to go and damaged his front wing after contact with the outside wall.

After a pitstop to repair his Ferrari, Leclerc returned to the track in ninth place but made a small recovery to sixth place at the finish.

While Verstappen naturally profited from Leclerc’s mistake, the Red Bull driver felt Leclerc’s error was understandable when pushing to catch Perez on a drying track and taking more risks than his rivals.

“The mistake is easily done because he was pushing hard to try and fight Checo but it is painful [for him],” Verstappen said. “I think he knows that himself, he doesn’t need to hear it from anyone in here.

“But still it is such a long championship and yes we gained a lot of points, so it is not great but he cannot change it now and he didn’t do it on purpose.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, lifts his trophy on the podium

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, lifts his trophy on the podium

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The result has seen Verstappen trim Leclerc’s F1 world championship lead to 27 points having produced a near-flawless performance across the Imola weekend, with his only mistake coming when he lost the lead at the start of the sprint to Leclerc.

Verstappen was surprised by Red Bull’s dominance over the Imola race weekend given its pace deficit to Ferrari last time out in Australia and having suffered two mechanical retirements in the first three races.

“The start of the season in general wasn’t amazing so we needed a good weekend and I didn’t expect it to be like this, but to have a weekend like this is incredible,” he said. “A 1-2 for the team and also maximum points scored.

Read Also:

“The way we handled the race, we didn’t make any mistakes, the team made the right calls with switching from the intermediates to the slicks and from then on just controlled the race.

“It might look easy on the TV but we still have to be focused, avoid the backmarkers as it is easy to go off-line or to lock up or go over a wet patch and go over the track.

“So we managed that and the car was handling really well, we saw that yesterday with the sprint qualifying, we had good pace in the car.”

shares
comments
Ricciardo takes blame for first corner Imola F1 tangle with Sainz
Previous article

Ricciardo takes blame for first corner Imola F1 tangle with Sainz

Next article

Russell battling back and chest pains thanks to porpoising

Russell battling back and chest pains thanks to porpoising
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022