Max Verstappen extends his sympathy to distraught Charles Leclerc

‘I feel sorry for him’: Max Verstappen extends his sympathy to distraught Charles Leclerc after the Ferrari driver crashed out of the French Grand Prix and allowed the Red Bull world champion to cruise to victory

  • Charles Leclerc crashed out on lap 18 with the two looking set to do battle
  • The Ferrari driver was incensed with himself for making another mistake
  • Max Verstappen is now 63 points clear in the world championship leaderboard

Max Verstappen has extended his sympathies to championship rival Charles Leclerc after the Ferrari driver crashed out of the French Grand Prix. 

Leclerc was well placed in the race as he looked to close the gap on the Red Bull driver at the top of the drivers’ championship but made a mistake on lap 18 and crashed out allowing the Dutchman to cruise to victory. 

The Ferrari driver had qualified on pole and had held off the world champion for the first few laps but when he crashed on the 18th circuit he let out a pained scream over the team radio and admitted after the race that he had made an ‘unacceptable mistake’. 

Charles Leclerc crashed out of Sunday’s French Grand Prix and was clearly furious afterwards

Speaking to Sky Sports after his victory at the Circuit Paul Ricard, Verstappen said: ‘It would have been a really good battle to the end, unfortunately we never got to that, but luckily Charles is okay.’ 

Verstappen went on to be asked whether or not his greater experience, having won a world championship, was proving decisive in his battle with Leclerc. The Ferrari driver has now made two errors leading to a loss of points.

He responded: ‘It’s difficult to tell.

Max Verstappen extended his sympathy to the Ferrari driver after he won the race in France

‘Mistakes are easily made. So, I don’t know. I feel sorry for him of course. It’s not nice and he knows that.

‘We’ve still got a lot of races to go and there will be a few tough weekends for us as well.’

Leclerc after the race was distraught with himself, saying that he is losing too many points. 

‘A mistake – my mistake,’ said Leclerc. ‘I think I am performing at the highest level of my career, but if I keep doing these mistakes then it is pointless to perform at a very high level.

The Ferrari driver hit the wall at turn 11 and the his car had to be removed from the track 

‘I am losing too many points. I think seven at Imola, 25 here. Honestly we probably were the strongest car on track today — so if we lose the championship by 32 points at the end of the season, I will know where they are coming from.

‘It’s unacceptable. I just need to get on top of those things.’

Verstappen leads Leclerc in the drivers standings with the Red Bull man’s teammate Sergio Perez, who finished fourth behind Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. 

There are 10 races to go, with Verstappen having won seven of the last 12.  

Leclerc’s Ferrari team couldn’t believe the French driver had crashed out of a race once again

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