Leclerc tried to be on 'limit of acceptable' racing in Italian GP

Adam Cooper
Leclerc tried to be on 'limit of acceptable' racing
Leclerc tried to be on 'limit of acceptable' racing

Ferrari Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc says he deliberately aimed to be on the limit of what is "acceptable" when defending his Italian Grand Prix lead from Lewis Hamilton.

Leclerc was deemed to have moved in the braking area when Hamilton attempted to pass him on the outside heading into the second chicane at Monza.

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He consequently became the second driver to receive the unsportsmanlike conduct flag since its reintroduction by race director Michael Masi, following Pierre Gasly at Spa.

Hamilton complained over the radio of "dangerous driving" when Leclerc again defended hard later in their battle, but the stewards saw no need to investigate or penalise him.

Leclerc insisted that the initial warning he had received was not in his mind for the rest of the race.

"I knew it was on the limit," said Leclerc. "But at the end I wanted to give absolutely everything to have this win.

"It was not in the back of my mind. I tried to be at the limit of what's acceptable, and that's what I have done."

Leclerc tried to be on 'limit of acceptable' racing
Leclerc tried to be on 'limit of acceptable' racing

Leclerc felt his second victory in as many races had answered anyone still sceptical about Ferrari's decision a year ago to promote him after a single season of F1 apprenticeship with Sauber in 2018.

"It's not been an easy start to the season, I've done a few mistakes, and in that I think you can consider a little bit my youth," he admitted.

"But it's not an excuse either. I think I've grown a lot since the beginning of the season.

"I understood the critics of me last year, obviously me being too young, second year in F1 and already in Ferrari, it was early for sure.

"I can only thank Ferrari for believing in me. They had a lot of data, and I believe they analysed it. It was not an easy decision.

"At the end I'm very happy to have these kind of results, which show that I was maybe more ready than what some people thought."

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