Charles Leclerc says he had only minor aches and pains after his heavy crash that caused a red flag in the Italian Grand Prix.
Ferrari was already a driver down due to a brake failure for Sebastian Vettel when Leclerc went off at high speed at Parabolica, damaging the barrier and causing the race to be stopped while it was repaired. Leclerc took full responsibility for the incident, but says he escaped relatively unscathed after a mandatory visit to the medical center.
“I feel quite OK — a bit of pain here and there but it will be fine,” Leclerc said. “It’s normal; the crash was quite big, but I’m feeling OK.
“I just lost the car. It’s my fault. It was a very difficult race, to be honest, then I thought we were unlucky with the safety car but we were lucky. With the hard tires I struggled massively, I tried to push but lost it in Parabolica and crashed … No technical issues, just a mistake on my side; it was very difficult to drive prior to the crash but no excuses, it was my mistake.”
Leclerc admitted he was keen to move on quickly to the next race on a different circuit after a disastrous weekend for Ferrari, with both drivers failing to qualify in the top 10 and then retiring in the first half of the race.
“It is difficult but I’m more thankful to get out of the car without major issues. Surely it is a difficult moment but I’m looking forward to Mugello to get back and have a good result.
“It’s not easy. On Seb’s car I don’t know what happened exactly. On my car we were struggling quite a lot. It’s like this at the moment but hopefully from Mugello it will be better.”
Vettel was thankful that his brake issue did not lead to a similarly big crash, as his main failure occurred at the end of the pit straight where there is space to go straight on and rejoin the track safely.
“It is the worst thing but at least it happened in the best spot,” Vettel said. “If it happens elsewhere it’s not so nice. I completely lost the pressure on the pedal and went straight. In the laps before I ran into trouble; we managed the brakes but it was quite bad.
“I was struggling, had a very bad start with the hard tires and lost positions. Then we ran into the problems, had to cool the car and the brakes failed, so a short race.”