Leclerc believes that being in the lead is a good position to be in, even if it means he has target on his back. It means they are doing something right.
Speaking at the post-race interview in Miami, the Monegasque said:
“I think we have been in only one position since the beginning of the season, which means we are hunted for now. I quite like this position to be honest because it means that you are doing something right.”
Charles Leclerc exploited his Ferrari’s superior pace and Red Bull’s reliability problems to take a commanding lead over his title rival Max Verstappen after the first three races. Before the Scuderia’s first home race of the season in Imola, Leclerc topped the Driver Standings. He was a whopping 34 points ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell. Verstappen, on the other hand, was in P6, with just 25 points to his name before the Imola GP.
The reigning world champion has since managed to claw his way back out of the deficit with two consecutive race wins in Imola and Miami. Verstappen was further aided by Leclerc's costly mistake late in the Imola GP. Currently, the the two title protagonists are seperated only by 19 points.
“The gap is slowly closing down. But I don't really mind [that] to be honest. Whichever position I am in, I just want to be the most competitive out there. And at the moment, it seems that Red Bull has the upper hand in the races.”
Charles Leclerc ‘misjudged’ track grip while defending against Verstappen at Miami GP
Charles Leclerc has since revealed that he misjudged the amount of grip that the track had on the inside line of the main straight while he was defending his race lead against Max Verstappen.
Relying heavily on the experience he gained on Friday and Saturday, Leclerc says he grossly misjudged the track evolution on Sunday, leading to him barely being able to defend against Verstappen.
Speaking at the post-race interview, Leclerc said:
“It's always worth [defending hard] when you are fighting for the lead. To be honest with the experience I had from free practice inside there, it was a disaster, the grip on Friday and Saturday. So, I did not expect Max to have that much grip.
“I thought that, at that moment, it was the right thing to stay on the racing line and try to optimise the braking point, which I did – but it didn't work out.”
Max Verstappen had a messy Friday in Miami. Due to several reliability issues, he missed out on precious track time over the weekend. This might have hampered his performance in qualifying. He missed out on a front-row position due to an error he committed on the final lap of Q3.
Nevertheless, the Dutchman fought back hard on Sunday. He overtook Carlos Sainz in second at the race start and relentlessly chased after Leclerc from there on. After a few attempts, he managed to breeze past the Monegasque on the main straight, seemingly to Leclerc’s surprise, who immediately came back at Verstappen but never managed to regain his lead.
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