Leclerc declares battling Silverstone drive ‘the most fun I’ve had in F1’
If he had a frown on his face after Austria, there was no mistaking the smile on Charles Leclerc after the British Grand Prix. From start to finish the Ferrari driver was involved in wheel-to-wheel dices around every inch of Silverstone, and despite a yo-yo race he ultimately came away with a well-deserved podium – and the fan-voted Driver of the Day accolade.
Ahead of the race, Leclerc spoke of how he was planning to ‘adjust his aggression’ in light of how the stewards in Austria had dealt with his late-race battle with Max Verstappen. And at Silverstone the Monegasque was as good as his word.
Starting third, Leclerc bullishly held off Verstappen in the early stages before a swift Red Bull pit stop allowed the Dutchman to move ahead via a side-by-side scrap down the pit lane. But Leclerc wouldn’t be behind for long, immediately getting back ahead through the Village complex – a thrilling battle in a race packed with heart-stopping action.
“It felt amazing in the car, the most fun I’ve ever had in Formula 1,” cooed Leclerc afterwards. “I think Austria was an eye opener for me to see how far the stewards will let us race and it was, it was very good, I think. I became more aggressive for this race and i've never had as much fun as I did during this race so it was good.”
For a time, it looked like bad luck would once again thwart the 21-year-old, with Leclerc one of the big losers under the safety car, running sixth after his pair of pit stops as those in front gained ground.
But then Leclerc made a brilliant, inch-perfect pass on Pierre Gasly for fifth, which became third when team mate Sebastian Vettel ran into back of Verstappen.
“We were very unlucky with the safety car, a little bit lucky with the crash of Max. Unfortunately there was also Seb into it, but yeah, overall I think third was the best we could have done today.”
When it was put to him that he could be fighting like that with Verstappen for the remainder of his career, Leclerc replied: “Then so be it. We are used to fighting since karting. So yeah, it’s cool to be fighting now in F1.”
Leclerc now has the longest current run of podium finishes on the grid, having finished on the rostrum for four straight races. He’s also now just three points behind team mate Vettel in the standings in fifth.