Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton, Monza, 2019

Leclerc says fight with Hamilton was “very on the limit”

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In the round-up: Charles Leclerc says his fight with Lewis Hamilton in the Italian Grand Prix was at the limit of what the rules permit.

What they say

The Ferrari driver says his experience with Max Verstappen in Austria showed him he could drive more aggressively.

Since Austria it’s clear we can go a bit further in the way we defend and overtake and the aggressiveness of us drivers. I believe that Austria helped me to change this approach and today it’s also thanks to this that I managed to win. It was obviously very on the limit but I’m happy to race like this.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Yesterday marked a new low for Sebastian Vettel:

It’s quite concerning to see the decline in Vettel’s driving over the last year.

I was a fan when it wasn’t fashionable, and think his past reputation as the “crash kid” was unfair. He certainly has struggled when the car is not to his liking, which is something that Alonso and Hamilton haven’t suffered from.

Last year saw an increase in clumsy errors which cost him a serious run at the title.

This year, the errors have turned dangerous. Today was exceptionally dangerous. I think Vettel should seriously consider hanging up his helmet before things get any worse.

In past seasons, Ferrari would have sacked a driver for a performance like that in front of the home crowd. He’s a smart guy but something is missing now when he is in the car.

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On this day in F1

  • 40 years ago today Jody Scheckter won the world championship and scored his final grand prix win after Ferrari team mate Gilles Villeneueve dutifully followed him home at Monza

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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...

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30 comments on “Leclerc says fight with Hamilton was “very on the limit””

  1. I agreed with CoTD. A Ferrari driver performing like Vettel, especially a “Number 1”, would not have stood under the Old Man, LdM or Marchionne.

    Seb is done, he seems to have fallen out of love with racing. There is nothing wrong with that.

    1. Yeah, I agree with COTD too. I think it is clear something has changed with Vettel. I’m sure the Red Bull flattered him, but still, 4 WDC, 9 straight wins means something. I don’t know what changed, but something did.

      Indeed, it might be time.

    2. IMO something changed since Baku 2017. He’s not been the same. Only at times. Start of 2018 he was amazing again. Then from germany on he’s just gone. Always been a huge fan, but lately I’m almost worried.

      1. Agreed. Been a fan since his first win, but it’s time for him to look in the mirror and ask some questions. No shame if he decides to move on (haters gonna hate, no matter what).

      2. +1
        I also wish his luck returned and VET could fight a few good races this year, that could lead to a real title challenge next year – even if LEC is a hard nut…Forza Verrari!!!

  2. Well done to the stewards, warning was perfect for Leclerc, thats all it needed

    1. Verstappen should have won in austria, leeis shouldn’t have won in canada and leclerc shouldn’t have won in Italy. Is that what you want?

      1. No one? Okay, I’ll be the one to ask:


        1. nase, I presumed @peartree detected sarcasm when there wasn’t any.

          1. @david-br It’s another technique, barging into threads. Hypocrisy is deadly, I don’t even agree with the warning. You young bloods only want to see your boys win, everything on a silver platter.

          2. I have to reiterate:


      2. LEC in Austria, VET in Canada and VET in Italy (qualifying on top after LEC’s drag payback; in the first run, Seb gave him those two-three tenths…)uno Verrari

    2. A warning for the incident was fine, if that’s what’s going to be done going forwards… but then to ignore him cutting the corner and maintaining an advantage after being give the black and white flag wasn’t the right call by the Stewards!

  3. Kvyat had an oil leak.. as the turbo exploded to bits.

  4. I think Hamilton needs to harden up a bit and stop commenting on the booing. It just makes him look weak. Most drivers/sports people get booed occasionally when at a venue that is a rivals home venue and simply ignore it and get on with life.

    The constant commenting on trivial things like fans booing (and it really wasn’t that bad) comes across as finger pointing from somebody with a holier than thou attitude.

    1. I said the same thing here the other day and some bloke compared with that incident with spanish fans 11 years ago suggesting he being booed as a sign of racism.

      What does he want? To Ferrari fans treat him like their idol, he being the guy who is constantly beating their cars? That’s easy to solve. Sign a deal with Ferrari and they will never do it again. They will treat him like a God!

      1. The Spanish thing was also ‘rivalry’ related (with Alonso), but it was also racism. Ferrari fans booing him as a Ferrari rival isn’t racist, unless they do it in a racist manner.

        1. The Ferrari fans are entitled to boo, and Lewis is entitled to comment, and you’re entitled to have your opinion.

          Why is it OK to silence only those with whom you disagree?

          In any event, relentless booing of a driver when he has done nothing is classless and just makes the crowd look like idiots.

    2. If the media was less bias. People wouldn’t mind Lewis much. Schumi wasn’t that hated, seb got hated a bit, the finger. ham gets a bit from everyone as he’s the spoiled kid of f1, 2 of the most dominant periods in f1 into 1.

    3. @homerlovesbeer
      We all know Lewis likes to play mind games. Might he be following Oscar Wilde’s advice?
      “Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.”

    4. @homerlovesbeer He’s complaining about booing. You complain about him complaining about booing. Not cool, stop it!

  5. Interesting times coming between Leclerc and Max and many many collisions too.
    It will be interesting to see which of the two see the bigger picture first in much the way Lewis did today. To Lewis it’s now about the championship.
    As Toto said :

    Wolff said Hamilton’s actions avoided contact between the pair. “The racing was very hard, maybe over the line.” he said. “Lewis I think was instrumental in not making it an incident.

    If the WDC was a foregone conclusion, Leclerc might have had a very interesting lesson today and at any rate he was very lucky not to be penalised for his shenanigans but that aside, he drove brilliantly and I am a Lewis fan unashamedly so, and a Kimi one before that, and a Damon one before that, and a Giles one before that (still vividly remember the accident) and still remember my very first F1 at Kyalami in ’73. Took pictures with my Halina in B&W! My friend would count and I would click. I think I got 3 pictures from a roll of 12! The good ole days! and good old SA!

    1. @macradar
      very fine take on the matter and thanks for the trip down your personal memory lane.
      I dont think you should be wary of how your opinion would be taken cos you support Lewis too.

  6. ”It cost us at the end of the race, as we finished only three seconds from P9.”
    – P10 actually.
    I agree with the COTD.

  7. Judging by the amount of press these things has gotten i wonder how it would ever be possible to race without sterile DRS overtakes that are complete risk free. Im no megafan of either of the drivers, I just want a fun race, but racing also needs some room, they cant make the perfect decisions all the time, its about split second decisions, sometimes it probably ends up a bit nasty even though they probably didnt intended too. (Except for the stupid stuff of course like Vettels return to the track, and some of Max crashes etc that are very intentional)

  8. Booing is not hating

  9. Gotta love how Leclerc keeps getting Max’ overtake in Austria in FIA’s face. Had it not been for that overtake I feel he would not have pushed Lewis so hard.

    1. @jjlehto – Exactly.

      LEC learned in Austria that it doesn’t matter if you are fully alongside, the inside driver can push you off. LEC pushed less in Monza than VER did in Austria. I’m not saying it is right or wrong—though I have my opinions—but LEC learned the lesson that he cannot expect others to play fair, and he applied it in Italy.

  10. Leclerc defeated both mercedes drivers and won a well deserved race.

    1. I think that Leclerc should have been given a penalty for cutting the chicane seeing how others have been penilised in the past for similar incidents, especially since he had already been warned for driving Hamilton off earlier in the race.

      Vettel and Stroll were very silly to cross the circuit right after spinning, they could have caused a very serious accident. I think they both should have been black flagged because it was not acceptable driving at all.

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