It was the first of several first-lap collisions Leclerc was involved in. He tangled with Lance Stroll in Russia and Max Verstappen in the Sakhir Grand Prix.
Ahead of the new season, and having set the 13th-fastest time in pre-season testing, Leclerc admitted he may have to rein in his aggression this year.
“Let’s wait and see where we are again, because I think there are positive signs already from the test and then we’ll see for sure from Saturday onwards,” he said. “But I think I will probably choose my fights a little bit better.
“Last year, if you take here by example, I was fighting with a Red Bull, which wouldn’t have been possible to keep behind for the rest of the race. So that was a bit silly to have a crash at that point of the race for these type of positions that I wouldn’t have been able to keep anyway.
“But on many other occasions it helped us to achieve better results. I will choose my fights better, but if I have to be aggressive at one point to to get better results, I will do it.”
Leclerc said his crash at the Sakhir GP, which was run on the Outer circuit layout in Bahrain, was an error he is keen not to repeat.
“It was definitely a difficult moment for the team and just I was extremely motivated to do something special, and that motivation sometimes translated in crashes onto the track, which was not great.
“As I’ve done in the past with my mistakes, I always try to understand why I’ve done them and try to not do them again.
“I will still be as motivated to try and do great results and we will have to see where we are at exactly to adapt my aggressiveness on track. But of course I will try not to reproduce these types of mistakes.”
2021 Bahrain Grand Prix
- How F1’s new rookie class fared in their first challenge of 2021
- Vettel feeling “not at home in the car yet” after tough weekend
- New format but familiar problems in Formula 2’s first triple-header weekend
- Leclerc thought he might keep Bottas behind after first-lap pass
- Mercedes strategy didn’t catch us by surprise – Red Bull