Charles Leclerc dedicates maiden F1 win to Anthoine Hubert

Charles Leclerc wins maiden F1 race

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc dedicated his maiden Formula 1 victory at the Belgian Grand Prix to the late Anthoine Hubert who lost his life in a Formula 2 crash on Saturday.

The Monegasque driver described his victory as a 'childhood dream' but explained how he found it difficult to celebrate such an event in light of the circumstances.

"On one hand I’ve got a dream since a child that has been realised," said Leclerc.

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"But on the other hand, it has been a very difficult weekend since yesterday, we have lost a friend first of all but it is very difficult in these situations.

"I would like to dedicate my first win to him. We have grown up together, my first ever race I have done it with Anthoine when we are younger and it is just a shame what happened yesterday.

"I can’t enjoy it fully my first victory but it will definitely be a memory I will keep forever."

Despite winning from pole position, it was not an easy race for Leclerc as Ferrari played a strategic game against Mercedes as to when they decided to pit, leaving him out to lap 21.

The SF90 was harder on its tyres and it allowed Hamilton to close down Leclerc to just one second at the finish line.

“It’s been a very difficult race," he added.

"We’ve been struggling quite a bit with the tyres towards the end but I’m a lot happier than with what I managed in Budapest on my side.

"It was better but Mercedes was very quick in the race and we expected. But at the end, it’s a good weekend performance-wise with the pole position and my first victory, so for that, I’m satisfied.

"The end of the race was definitely not easy, he [Hamilton] was catching very quickly so I had a quite a bit of pressure but I’m happy I kept him behind."