Charles Leclerc says Verstappen-style overtake good for F1
Ferrari driver says hard wheel-to-wheel racing only benefits F1, but insists such decisions must be applied consistently after Verstappen Austria clash
By James Galloway at Silverstone
Last Updated: 11/07/19 6:23pm
Charles Leclerc believes the kind of move that saw Max Verstappen overtake him to win the Austrian GP should be allowed - but has called for more consistency from F1's stewards.
The Ferrari driver lost out on a first career win in a dramatic end to the last race at the Red Bull Ring when Verstappen overtook him with two laps to go.
While the two cars banged wheels, and the stewards' investigated the incident, it was ultimately ruled that Verstappen had done nothing wrong and the Dutchman's victory stood.
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Although angry with the incident in the race's immediate aftermath, Leclerc told reporters on his return to the paddock a fortnight on at Silverstone that he had no lingering complaints and that such racing was good for F1.
"With the incident I don't have any problems and it was very easy for me to move on," said Leclerc, speaking to the media for the first time since the Austria stewards' verdict.
"The only thing is that I'd like a bit more consistency. I feel like there have been some other incidents in the past which have been less big and that have been penalised.
"If we can race that way, I'm more than happy to race that way - it's good for Formula 1. This is what us drivers want, but we just need to know what we can expect from the others. That's why I'd like probably more consistency in the penalties."
Leclerc vs Verstappen: A rivalry renewed
The Leclerc-Verstappen battle ultimately came to define the Austrian weekend, with the 21-year-olds renewing a duel which stretched back to their days as teenage go-karters.
"We had some tricky moments back in the karting days, but it's good," said Leclerc.
"It's good for the show and hopefully there will be many more of these ones in the future."
In the nascent stages of their Formula 1 careers, yet already driving for two of the sport's biggest teams, the prospect of Verstappen and Leclerc continuing that battle at the very front of the sport for years to come appears increasingly likely.
"He's definitely a very good driver, otherwise you're not in F1 with Ferrari," said Verstappen of Leclerc. "When you look at the age of us, but also there are some other drivers, at one point we will be the ones fighting for victories.
"At one point Lewis [Hamilton] will get too old, so it's quite normal that at one point the younger drivers will take over."
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