Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Monza, 2021

Leclerc felt “very dizzy, very bad” before cutting practice short

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In the round-up: Charles Leclerc explained his request to end second practice early was due to an unexplained dizzy spell.

In brief

Leclerc still “wasn’t feeling great” for sprint qualifying

Charles Leclerc returned to the Ferrari garage five minutes early, during second practice, and was unwilling to explained why over the radio.

After the session Ferrari clarified that the reason for Leclerc’s early finish was he had been feeling unwell. Leclerc said it came “quite suddenly” but added he is “confident it will be all fine tomorrow.”

“I was just feeling very, very dizzy and and very bad in general,” Leclerc explained. “I wasn’t feeling great either for the race, not 100 percent.

“But at the end, what was the most important is that I could deliver my 100 percent. And that’s what we did as a team by finishing sixth and seventh. With starting fifth and sixth tomorrow so it’s all good.”

Russell’s front wing “collapsed” on one side

George Russell, Williams, Monza, 2021
Russell picked up damage during sprint qualifying
George Russell, who fell behind team mate Nicholas Latifi during the sprint qualifying race, said he had been compromised by a poor start and damage to his front wing which made his car impossible to steer.

“It was going alright, the pace felt good and then we had a problem with the front wing,” said Russell. “On one side of the front wing it just completely collapsed.

“I just had massive understeer, which was the first time all weekend. But unfortunately, it was so extreme I just couldn’t really catch the cars ahead so it was good recovery, considering we just been really pretty poor start.”

Russell explained his loss at the start of the session as not being used to the much lighter fuel load in cars for the short, sprint events. “It’s difficult because we’re so used to starting with 100 kilos of fuel in the car.

“Now, when you’ve got one third of that, you have to change your procedure quite a lot. And I think just got it wrong today, but only ended up one position lower than I started.”

Kubica doubt reserve role will lead to race seat

Despite deputising for Kimi Raikkonen at the Dutch and Italian grands prix, Robert Kubica says he does not believe himself to be a serious contender to drive alongside Valtteri Bottas at Alfa Romeo in 2022.

“I have learnt from my life that everything can happen from day to day – positives, negatives. So never say never,” he explained. “But realistically, I think are some other drivers who are probably higher in the list, I don’t know.”

Kubica said that his return to F1 had been a surprise interruption to what he thought was his main racing programme, driving an LMP2 in ELMS. “I have my racing programme with endurance racing, which of course, normally I’m focussing all [my] attention there. This has been different, since Zandvoort, because I’m here. But I don’t know what what that will bring.”

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Comment of the day

Looking at Théo Pourchaire’s exceptional performances in the Monza F2 races, Nerrticus argues that he may be young but 2022 would be a perfect opportunity for a rookie to enter F1.

I know money (Zhou) or politics (De Vries) will likely win out but come on Alfa, you know Theo has a much higher ceiling than those two. Invest in your future now.

To me, making the move for 2022 is actually an advantage because of the regulations. Sure, Theo is learning a new car but the other drivers (and teams) will be learning how these cars handle as well. I think it would ease the transition and make him more competitive from the start.

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On this day in motorsport

  • 45 years ago today Ronnie Peterson scored March’s final win in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, ahead of Clay Regazzoni and Jacques Laffite. Niki Lauda, in his first race back after being seriously burned at the Nurburgring, took a brave fourth.

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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7 comments on “Leclerc felt “very dizzy, very bad” before cutting practice short”

  1. The f2 field is not that bad, there are at least 3 promising drivers there. Next year with mandatory fp sessions for young drivers it is going to become harder to ignore potential talent.

    1. As a lewis fan i still believe best driver wins on the day which gives me respect for all the racing drivers, i hope Charles goes for a head scan as i lost a friend who fell ill out of the blue and did nowt about it, 6 months later he passed away.

      I was gutted another motorsport driver lost too early, of corse Charles may have nothing wrong and just picked up a bug lets hope its just that..

      Get well soon @Charles_Leclerc so much respect even if you feel that you can not drive, please remember you come first before your team when its a health matter, me and your fans will respect the out come…

  2. Of course, he won’t.

    COTD: Perhaps this wouldn’t be a bad idea, although unlikely anyway.

  3. Worried about Leclerc, but very strong to do such a good race

  4. This is the main concern i have for Russell at Mercedes. His poor starts seem to be a very regular occurance. There have been times this year where he’s been stuck behind a slower team mate for many laps simply because of these. And despite Kubica rightly being called very slow in 2019, it still didn’t’ stop him being ahead of Russell by the end of lap 1 in 11 out out f the 19 races they both started on the grid.

    Bottas seems to get noticed for the few bad starts he has, but I unfortuantly feel Russell seems to be the worst starter on the grid. Lets hope it won’t continue at Mercedes.

    1. That’s a good point.

  5. Really hoping Leclerc isn’t feeling the effects of long covid, as this is a known long-term effect.

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