I was too greedy and paid the price - Leclerc regrets Imola spin

By Sports Desk April 24, 2022

Charles Leclerc acknowledged he was "too greedy and paid the price" as he span out from third and finished sixth at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. 

Despite qualifying second behind Max Verstappen following Saturday's sprint race, Leclerc slid down to fourth on the opening lap as Sergio Perez and Lando Norris found a way past him. 

Although he was able to overtake Norris, Perez's exemplary defence kept him at bay and he was unable to get close enough when the track was finally deemed dry enough for DRS to be enabled. 

With the front two out of reach, Leclerc opted to switch to soft tyres and chase the fastest lap to deny Verstappen the additional point. 

However, an error at the Variante Alta saw him hit the barriers and forced him to pit again. 

Leclerc was ninth when he returned to the track but managed to climb back up to sixth, meaning his championship lead was cut from 45 points to 27. 

"It's a big shame. Whatever happened before the spin, these are details and it's part of racing. The spin shouldn't have happened today," Leclerc said on Sky Sports. 

"P3 was the best I could do. We didn't have the pace for much more and I was too greedy and paid the price for it and lost potential seven potential points compared to the third place I was in. It is a shame, it's seven points that will for sure be valuable at the end of the campaign, but this shouldn't happen again. 

"For sure, Red Bull seem to be more competitive than the first three races. We had the upper hand in Bahrain and Australia, then they had it here and in Jeddah. 

"It is very, very close and I think it will be that way for the rest of the season. It's a big mistake but the consequence considering the mistake could've been much bigger. It's only seven points today but it could cost more the next time, so I need to be careful." 

Ferrari got zero points through Carlos Sainz, who got stuck in the gravel following contact with Daniel Ricciardo at the first chicane on the opening lap. 

Sainz said: "It was very bad, definitely. A tough moment. 

"It's not at all the way I wanted to go out in front of the fans. Turn two can be bad, but there are always these tough moments in the life of the sportsman and you have to go through them. 

"As long as I keep working hard, the good times will come." 

Related items

  • Hamilton pleased with 'small step forwards' as Sainz tops British Grand Prix practice Hamilton pleased with 'small step forwards' as Sainz tops British Grand Prix practice

    Lewis Hamilton was pleased with the "small step forwards" taken by Mercedes after setting the second-fastest time in practice ahead of the British Grand Prix.

    The Briton was 0.163 seconds slower than pace-setter Carlos Sainz in FP2, while compatriot Lando Norris was third and championship leader Max Verstappen in fourth.

    Hamilton has yet to win a race this season, but he offered plenty of promise heading into a big weekend on home soil at a packed Silverstone with his performance in practice.

    However, the seven-time world champion offered a word of caution over the ongoing porpoising issue that has dominated recent races.

    "It's bouncing still, quite a bit," he said. "Not necessarily on the straights but through the corners it's pretty harsh – not physically harsh but in the car on the tyres and everything.

    "So we still have work to do but it feels like a small step forwards.

    "Our long run pace isn't as good as the other guys but it's not miles off. We've definitely made an improvement. I'm sure overnight we can work and improve the car a bit more."

    Hamilton may have endured a difficult campaign to date, lagging as he does 98 points behind leader Verstappen, but he boasts an impressive record on his home turf.

    The 37-year-old has won the British Grand Prix eight times and could become the driver to have won the most races at a single Grand Prix with victory this weekend.

    Mercedes, meanwhile, have recorded eight of the last nine wins at Silverstone, while also taking eight of the last nine poles.

    McLaren driver Norris looks good value to challenge for a second podium of 2022 after a surprising rise up the timesheets, having finished 15th last time out in Canada.

    "As good as it looked, it is still difficult to put things together and be consistent but I am happy," he said.

    "The car seems to be in a decent place, at least a little better than we were expecting."

    Friday was rather unimpressive for Red Bull's Verstappen, who has won six of the nine races this year, including five of the last six.

    But the Dutchman – who is out to surpass Valtteri Bottas and equal Rubens Barrichello as the driver with the eighth-most podiums ever (68) – is confident of finding improvement.

    "It's always a bit tricky, of course, after not driving in FP1 and then FP2 becomes a bit of guessing, let's say it like that," Verstappen said. 

    "It was maybe not ideal, but also not a big issue. I think we know what we have to work on and that's what we'll try to do overnight. 

    "But, again, tomorrow probably it's raining so you have again different kinds of conditions. This time probably was not amazing, but it was also not really bad."

  • Verstappen defends Piquet after Hamilton slur: 'He's definitely not a racist' Verstappen defends Piquet after Hamilton slur: 'He's definitely not a racist'

    Max Verstappen has stated Nelson Piquet is "not a racist" but condemned the Brazilian's "very offensive" slur towards Lewis Hamilton.

    The former Formula One champion has faced backlash after an interview emerged following last season's British Grand Prix in which he was alleged to have used a racial slur in reference to Hamilton, prompting widespread criticism across the F1 paddock.

    Verstappen has condemned the comments from Piquet, which he said were "very offensive", but he defended the character of the 69-year-old, who is the father of his partner Kelly.

    "I've spent a bit of time with Nelson, and he's definitely not a racist, and he's actually a really nice and relaxed guy," he told reporters on Thursday.

    "The statement he released, you can see the word in two ways, but I think it's still better not to use it.

    "It's not only about that word, using offensive language to anyone, any colour, is not correct. That's to anyone in the world, not just to Lewis specifically.

    "I think he realised it was probably not the correct word to use, and clearly it is not.

    "It can be interpreted in two ways, and of course people pick up on the bad side and of course it gets really blown, I think, out of proportion.

    "I know Nelson personally and people of course label him as a racist now, which I don't think he is, but I fully agree that you cannot use these words."

    It has widely been reported F1 will now ban Piquet from the paddock, but Verstappen added he did not feel that would be the correct move.

    "When you ban people, you are actually not helping the situation," he said. "You're not talking.

    "You have to communicate. It's really important, because if you just ban, it's not helping what you're trying to enforce."

  • Hamilton says 'older voices' Ecclestone and Piquet should not be given a platform Hamilton says 'older voices' Ecclestone and Piquet should not be given a platform

    Lewis Hamilton has slammed Bernie Ecclestone's support of Russian President Vladimir Putin and declared he is "not with the times."

    Ex-Formula One supremo Ecclestone stated during an interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Thursday that he would "take a bullet" for “first-class person” Putin.

    When it was put to Ecclestone that thousands of innocent people have been killed in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, he replied “it wasn't intentional.”

    The 91-year-old also said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should have done more to stop the ongoing war.

    Ecclestone’s comments come during a grim week for motorsport, with Nelson Piquet having been condemned for a racist comment made about Hamilton and Red Bull axing reserve driver Juri Vips for a racial slur he used in an online streaming session.

    Ecclestone also declared seven-time F1 champion Hamilton should be "happy" that he received an apology from Piquet and ought to have "brushed aside" the Brazilian’s racist slur.

    Hamilton responded by referencing Ecclestone and Piquet as "older voices", declaring they have "nothing positive" to contribute.

    "We push for action. There needs to be some accountability. What is [the platforms'] goal? We don't need [these voices] anymore," he said during a news conference.

    "To hear it from someone who ultimately believes in the war, the killing of millions of people? I can't believe it. They have nothing positive to contribute to where we want to go.

    "I have always tried to take the higher road and be respectful. It ties back to - why do we give them a platform? They are not with the times. They are not willing to change. Microaggression in today's world is not healthy."

    Sebastian Vettel was among those who spoke out in support of Hamilton in Thursday's media session, addressing the abuse that the British driver has faced throughout his career.

    "I think it’s more than just the recent, it’s what he and his family has been through his entire life," he said.

    "The abuse was wrong and it was great to see such a response from the F1 community on the matter and towards Lewis.

    "There shouldn’t be any room for these kinds of comments. It doesn’t help when there are still these things out here and using inappropriate language. 

    "It is important to talk about it because it won’t be gone overnight and we have a responsibility to try and address these issues.

    "Kindness matters and people matter. It was bad to see what was going on."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.