Charles Leclerc says he was “too greedy” trying to improve on third place in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, resulting in a crash that limited him to sixth.
The championship leader was running third and putting pressure on Sergio Perez for the majority of the race after a poor start had seen him slip behind the second Red Bull, with Ferrari making an extra pit stop for soft tires to attack Perez.
Just as it looked like the Mexican had him covered, Leclerc took too much curb at Turn 14 – the Variante Gresini – and spun, damaging his car and needing another pit stop for a new front wing and tires, dropping to ninth before recovering to sixth.
“It is a big shame,” Leclerc said. “Whatever happened before the spin — it’s how it is. It’s part of racing, you know.
“I believe that the spin should not have happened today. I mean, P3 was the best I could do. We didn’t have the pace for much more, and I was too greedy. I paid the price for it and lost seven potential points compared to [the] third place I was before.
“It is a shame. It’s seven points that are valuable at the end of the championship, for sure. This shouldn’t happen again.”
With Max Verstappen taking the maximum 34 points from the weekend after winning the sprint, grand prix and taking fastest lap, Leclerc says Red Bull might have made a step forward but has already shown it will be a threat all year.
“It’s impossible to know. We will see. Only time will tell how much of a step they did but for sure, they seem to be more competitive than the first three races or similar to Jeddah. We’ve had the upper hand in Bahrain and Australia and they’ve had the upper hand in this weekend and in Jeddah.
“It is very very close and I think it will be that way for the rest of the season. That is why every small mistake [is] a big mistake but actually the consequence…could have been much bigger. It’s only seven points today but it could be more the next time, so I need to be careful [of] that.”