Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc reflect on their Turn 1 situation in F1 Las Vegas GP and how they are more calm now in discussions.
Even with bit of an oil spill from the parade car, Red Bull’s Verstappen got a decent getaway in F1 Las Vegas GP to be marginally ahead of Ferrari’s Leclerc. The lack of grip caught them out in Turn 1 as the Dutchman went a bit wide taking the Monegasque along.
Leclerc didn’t tried to be aggressive keeping in mind the need for points and went along with Verstappen as the Dutchman eventually was handed a five second time penalty which he accepted after seeing the video post-race where he accepted his fault.
The medium tyres didn’t work for Verstappen as Leclerc managed to pass him in the first stint but safety car mid-way in the grand prix benefited the Dutchman for him to come back on the Monegasque and pass him to take the win.
Start situation and penalty –
Verstappen: “I mean, the start was good. But then, we braked quite late to defend the position but I was a bit on the inside, on the dirt, I guess. As soon as you’re a bit off-line here, it’s super low grip. And that’s what happened. I braked and there was no grip. I didn’t mean to push Charles off the track, but I couldn’t slow it down and I just kept sliding on four wheels, wide. So that’s why we had to go wide. You know, at the time, you’re also full of adrenaline and I was not happy with the decision. But, you know, looking back at it, it was probably the right call.
“And yeah, after that, with that five seconds it was definitely a bit harder to come back to the front. I think we opted to just stay ahead at that point. So, then you take the five second penalty. Yeah, I don’t know what’s better at the end. I mean, I paid the penalty, right? So doesn’t matter, in a way, you know? Like, if you come if you go back behind, you probably also end up losing, whatever, five seconds. So, it’s pretty similar, I guess, at the end. ”
Leclerc: “I think Max already came to me and explained me the situation. Obviously, it was on the limit, over the limits and I think the five seconds penalty is deserved. It was tight. I still try to push off the track, but it was so low grip, to try and keep that position. But it’s the way it is. He has been penalised. He paid a penalty. And I think that was the right penalty to give. So, it’s like this, I just think that in those kinds of situations, it will be better for the FIA to ask to give the place back. Because I think there’s quite a bit of an advantage to take care of tyres when you have free air. But yeah, it’s the way it is.”
Oil spill and avoiding it –
Verstappen: “The oil spill was not ideal. It was from the classic cars, from the drivers’ parade so that’s maybe something that we have to look into because that’s a bit of a shame that that happens. So I had to steer a bit left of it at the start. And yeah, after that of course we had that little moment.”
Getting along well –
Verstappen: “I explained to Charles what happened and also with the debriefing, I think that’s something we do naturally. We did that already back in the day in go-karting and stuff. It’s nice, especially when you have a fun race together, everyone, and you had some battles. There’s always something to talk about.”
Leclerc: “Yeah, exactly. However, I think the debriefs we had back in the day were a bit more tense.”
Verstappen: “It was just an inchident (recalling a famous karting video).”
Leclerc: “But now we are a bit calmer and obviously we grew up together. I know Max very, very well as a driver. And yeah, I knew that he would go for it and also in the moment, Max has won the Drivers championship, they won the Constructors’ championship and he also knows that he’s going to go for it and give it all in lap one, turn one and I knew that. Yeah, I gave a bit of margin because I had more to lose and especially with the Constructors’ championship fight we have with Mercedes. But it was fun and then we spoke about it, he explained to me the situation and it’s like this, it’s fine.”
Here’s what happened at Turn 1: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2023-las-vegas-grand-prix-verstappen-snatches-the-lead-from-leclerc-at-turn-1-with-chaos-down-the-field-on-the-race-start.1782972479311894943.html
Here’s how F1 Las Vegas GP panned out
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