Formula 1

Leclerc: Verstappen Silverstone battle “most fun I’ve had in F1” – F1

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc says his battle with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen at Silverstone was “the most fun race since I started in F1”.

During the course of the race, Leclerc and Verstappen sparred on track – and went side-by-side in the pitlane – in the wake of the controversial the pair had in Austria two weeks before.

Leclerc took a podium in the British Grand Prix, while Verstappen was hit from behind by Sebastian Vettel, and managed a fifth place in recovery.

After joining Formula 1 with Sauber – now Alfa Romeo – in 2018, Leclerc says the battle with Verstappen ranked among his favourite races.

“It was very difficult,” said Leclerc.

“At the moment I think with our qualifying pace we can do strong things but our race pace, we need to work.

“Red Bull seems to be better at keeping the tyres for longer and that’s why I tried to keep Max behind me for so long.

“But in the car it was definitely probably the most fun race I’ve had since I started in F1.

“It was very, very enjoyable, very hard racing that was always borderline but still within the rules and I really enjoyed that fight.”

Leclerc had said before the weekend that he was happy to be tougher on track after the Austria incident, where Verstappen edged Leclerc off the track at Turn 3 and went on to win while Leclerc had to settle for second.

The Ferrari driver confirmed after the Silverstone race that this had been the case in Britain and he had upped the aggression on track.

“Nothing personal, but after Austria I said if the stewards accept us to race this way, then I’m more than happy to race like this,” explained Leclerc.

“This is what I did this weekend.

“So nothing special.

“I just raced harder than normal just because I felt like in the last two races, or maybe a bit before, that Formula 1 wants hard racing and I think us drivers are pushing for hard racing.

“That’s why we enjoy the most to be racing like that and that’s what I did.”

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