Charles Leclerc: Borderline Max Verstappen fight my most fun F1 race
Charles Leclerc described his fight with Max Verstappen as the “most fun” he has had in his Formula 1 career, after a fierce battle at the British Grand Prix.
Leclerc and Verstappen duelled for victory at the preceding round in Austria, with the Red Bull driver passing his former karting rival on the antepenultimate lap.
Leclerc held third at Silverstone but faced a threat from Verstappen and the pair fought over the spot during the first stint on Sunday, with Leclerc managing to stay ahead.
Verstappen got ahead through the Safety Car period and Leclerc briefly retaliated – brushing wheels through the final corner – before the Red Bull driver inched clear.
Leclerc nonetheless finished third, ahead of Verstappen, in the wake of his opponent losing time when struck by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
“That was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had in my Formula 1 career,” said Leclerc.
“It’s a short career, only a year and a half, but it was definitely very, very fun from inside the car.
“I think Austria was quite an eye-opener for me, and I understood how far we can go and what was expected.
“I’m very happy at the end to race like this, I think every driver wants to race hard, and we did during most of the race.
“It was very, very fun, always borderline but I think within the rules, and very enjoyable.”
Verstappen also revelled in the nature of the fight with his fellow 21-year-old.
“They were good,” he said. “I think he was a little bit sore still from Austria so he was defending really hard, but that’s fine I’m all for that.
“I didn’t want to take much risks in those battles to damage the car, because I knew we were quite a bit faster so I just needed to pick my moment.
“Luckily the team did it for me with a good strategy and then it was looking all good for a good result [until the Vettel hit].”