Leclerc Takes Responsibility For Inexplicable French Grand Prix Crash
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc - LPS/Alessio De Marco Photo by livephotosport

Charles Leclerc has taken responsibility for his inexplicable lap 18 crash while in the lead at the French Grand Prix which was won by Max Verstappen.

The Ferrari driver crashed out of the race on turn 11 of lap 18 after a snap of oversteer which saw him lose control and slide off the track into the barriers.

Leclerc was overheard speaking about the throttle before an anguished scream, given the points he had just thrown away.

Verstappen’s (233 points) victory means he is 63 points clear at the top of the Formula 1 standings from Leclerc (170), who crashed while leading for the third time this season. The Monegasque has three retirements in his last seven races.

“I’m losing too many points, I think seven in Imola, 25 here because honestly we were the strongest car on track today,” Leclerc told Sky Sports F1.

“If we lose the championship by 32 points at the end of the season, I will know from where they are coming from. And its unacceptable, I just need to get on top of those things.”

He added: “I think it’s just a mistake. Tried to take too much around the outside, put a wheel probably somewhere dirty, but it’s my fault and if I keep doing mistakes like this then I deserve not to win the championship.”

It wasn’t a great outing for Ferrari, who had Carlos Sainz move up into third spot before being pitted late with wearing tyres, eventually finishing fifth despite having speed. Sainz did have a five-second penalty to manage, and earned an extra point with the fastest lap after pitting.

The Spaniard had started from 19th, but many questioned Ferrari’s decision to pit him after overtaking Sergio Perez for third, but Sainz defended their call, believing the tyres wouldn’t see out the race.

“I believe that maybe at the time it was better to risk it and stay out and see what happens to the tyres but I had just made it to P3 and I saw a podium position that I said, if I make these tyres last, maybe I can finish on the podium,” he said.

“But we will never know, it was a feeling; the team has a lot more data on the computer, they have a lot more numbers to go through and if they took that decision, I’m 100 per cent convinced that they took it with the best of intentions and with the best of spirits.

“It’s just, we need to keep progressing and we need to analyse everything and see if we can do better, but I’m convinced the team is doing a good job there.”

Behind Verstappen, Mercedes claimed two podium spots for the first time this season, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell second and third. Russell overtook Perez late in the race following a restart from a virtual safety car.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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