Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Baku City Circuit, 2019

Leclerc “beating himself up” after throwing away chance at pole

2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Charles Leclerc says he will ‘beat himself up’ for the next few hours after crashing out of qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

“I deserve what happened today,” he told Sky. “I am very, very sad for what happened but I deserve it. I’ve been stupid as I said on the radio. I calmed down but I still think I’ve been stupid, this doesn’t change.”

Leclerc, who was quickest in all three practice sessions and second-quickest in Q1, believes he threw away a chance to take pole position.

“I will push to learn from this and come back stronger and hopefully have a very good race tomorrow,” he said. “But I deserve that.

“I don’t want to say anything stupid but after looking at FP1, FP2, FP3 also quali one, pole was possible today and I’ve thrown all the potential in the bin. So I’m very disappointed and I’ll come back stronger from this.”

The Ferrari driver switched from soft to medium tyres for the second part of qualifying, but tried to use the same braking point at turn eight when he crashed.

“I don’t think I put more brakes, I just braked as much as I did on the softs but obviously I was on the mediums and I locked up. But I don’t want it to be misunderstood, there’s no problems with the tyres, it’s just myself.”

Despite the crash Leclerc advanced to Q3 meaning he should start tomorrow’s race inside the top 10. “You can definitely overtake and I will push for that tomorrow,” he said. “But for the next three or four hours I will just be beating myself up.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

39 comments on “Leclerc “beating himself up” after throwing away chance at pole”

  1. Maximum attack tomorrow.

  2. Don’t worry Charles, as Robert proved, it can happen to the best of them!

    1. Irony/sarcasm I hope?

        1. Well it should be. Kubica is a haunted shadow of his former years.
          Even at his prime he wasn’t “the best” but now… He is essentially a pay driver.

          1. Thing is when he’s had a fair chance and the cars have been equal he’s been matching Russell who is the current GP2 champion. Which a lot of people seem to be overlooking.

  3. Trying too hard to dominate Seb?
    Getting too cocky and believing his own hype?
    Just a lucky rookie who is showing his lack of skill?

    All these theory’s and more will start flying around now but I’m going with – a brilliant young driver still learning his craft makes a basic error.

    More fun to come tomorrow regardless :)

    1. @nullapax

      You’re bang on about the direction that the comments here are going to take. I’m guessing we all knew that Leclerc was going to make a few errors in his first season at Ferrari, and that he would still need to mature over the year, but man… his first error couldn’t have come at a worse time.

      He looked like the quickest driver all weekend. It would have been the perfect weekend to just dominate his teammate and show his bosses that he’s the top dog… instead he fluffed it.

      I’m sure he’s kicking himself now.. but let’s see how he picks himself up for the race tomorrow.

      1. @todfod yeah with it being Baku, he still has the opportunity to turn this around. He may not have the track position but starting on mediums in 9th place gives the opportunity to run long and keeps the strategy open for the almost inevitable safety cars. He’s still the guy who’s probably fastest overall. It’ll be interesting to see what he can do. He doesn’t need to have a clean first lap tho.

        1. @3dom

          I don’t think he’s starting on mediums. He made it in to Q3, and I think he’ll have to start on a set of the scrubbed softs (which is what he set his fastest lap in Q2 on)

          1. Leclerc was on mediums in Q2

          2. @chrisgalaz

            Are you sure? I thought his first flying lap on the mediums was when he put it in the wall. Before that he had set his fastest time on a set of softs. I could be wrong though..

          3. @todfod No, that was the weirdest of it all, Leclerc was already safe with his previous run on mediums. Why did he go out at all?

          4. @f1osaurus
            Man.. I don’t know what Ferrari were thinking then. Why waste another set of mediums?

            Also, should be interesting for the race then.. Leclerc starting on mediums with a fresh set of softs to use in the race.

          5. Any driver outside of q3 can start with any tyre of their choice. Leclerc can and will start on mediums.

          6. I’m pretty sure they didn’t come in after their first laps. Both Ferraris (and pretty much everyone else) stayed out to do a second timed lap what with all the warm up issues just to be safe.

    2. Funnily enough Vettel also hit the wall at the exact same corner. It was only blind luck that he didnt also go out of Qualifying. Basic errors all round at Ferrari

      1. Basic luck or inexperience. Leclerc had missfortunes at the start vs Ericsson aswell.

  4. The reason why Enzo did not like young drivers.

    1. I’ve seen a few experienced top drivers do similar tbf

    2. Because the experienced 4-time world champion with 12 years of F1 experience driving the same car is not making any mistakes at all?

      1. He even hit the wall at the exact same corner.

    3. Nigel, mind you, whilst Enzo was said to favour more experienced drivers, there were quite a few instances of Ferrari choosing to run drivers who had fairly limited experience in F1 at the time.

      Clay Regazzoni debuted with Ferrari, as did Arturo Merzario, Ricardo Rodríguez (who was only 19 at the time), Willy Mairesse and Ignazio Giunti, whilst both Phil Hill and Gilles Villeneuve only had one race under their belts and Pedro Rodríguez only two when they both first raced for Ferrari. Similarly, Jacky Ickx and Lorenzo Bandini had competed in only four races when they raced for Ferrari, whilst Mario Andretti had only competed in nine GPs when he joined Ferrari.

      1. Aah, Clay Regazzoni, I was at his last race, sad day indeed.

        1. Because he retired? Apologies I may be misinterpreting your comment but clay died after his racing years.

          1. Long Beach:
            ‘He crashed during the 1980 United States Grand Prix West, the crash left him paralyzed from the waist down, ending his competitive career’.

    4. Because old Vettel’s heaps of blunders are better…

  5. And tomorrow he will receive Driver of the Day and will be celebrated as a Star of Weekend, even if he finishes P9. Because all you need is to be fast, destroy the car and then finish in lowly position.

    1. Proved by Albon

      1. Albon started from the pit. If Leclerc get’s on the podium he has a good change to be driver of the day

        1. HJ, the context is indeed notable, since Albon started from the pits and did not have a car at his disposal that was that much faster than the rest of the midfield pack – however, it seems that DAllein is rather unyielding in his opinions.

      2. Update 28.04.2019: Leclerc finished P5 and is voted the Driver Of the Day.
        What a nonsense! *facepalm*

        (now let’s wait until all reviewers brand him the Star of the Weekend)

  6. It’s a street circuit with some darn narrow squiggly bits, even the best sometimes overdo it, at least he was trying, I’m wondering if we’re going to see a real multicar track blocker tomorrow… Hopefully not.
    Great stuff from VB, Charles should forget it, (easier said than done) still very early in the season.

  7. Charles was dominating till his crash. Sincerely wanted him to get pole and win as he was dominanting Seb and especially after the bad luck of Bahrain. Still its not over. Charles can be in the mix tomorrow for the win.

  8. I think Ferrari is partly to blame here .. track temperature was going down by the minute because it was very late in the afternoon and the medium tyres were too cold .. Vettel almost crashes out on medium tyres as well!

  9. This is like Max dominating Daniel but pushing to hard at times. There cant be enough Maxes/Leclercs on the grid. I love it.

    1. Exactly. This reminds me of Verstappen crashing in FP3 at Monaco 2018, when apart from that he was fastest in every session

  10. Ferrari has the fastest car everybody tells me. It doesn’t matter at all. It is like a boxing match, you can lead 14 rounds and in the last round the other guy knocks you out and you lose.

Comments are closed.