The hunger of the pilots is insatiable, and very few in history have managed to quench the thirst for blood when they had their prey in front of them to ensure a result that could serve at the end of the season in a hypothetical achievement of the title.
During the last Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was defending his championship lead in a sprint format that turned out to be quite exciting due to his battle with Max Verstappen.
The Monegasque driver lost pole position after Lando Norris’ red flag appeared, and in the sprint race he managed to take the lead at the start. However, his tire management caused him to drop to second in favor of the reigning world champion in the final laps, causing him to start behind on Sunday, as well as missing out on that extra point for winning the short session.
In the main race, the Ferrari driver went very badly due to a more slippery part of the asphalt, and dropped to fourth place, behind Verstappen, Pérez and Norris. In his comeback attempt, Leclerc tried to overtake the Mexican to climb to the second step of the podium, for which he took excessive risks.
After many laps about two seconds behind Red Bull, in the Maranello garage they decided to go to “Plan D” to try to overtake Pérez. Initially it worked, as they came out ahead after the stop, with a new set of softs after making an overcut, but as the Mexican had the tires with better temperature, he overtook him without major problems at the Villeneuve chicane.
The pace of the RB18 was higher in Imola, but the Monegasque did not give up, so he stayed in its wake. On lap 53 everything changed, as an overly aggressive High Variation entry caused Leclerc to crash into the wall, damaging his F1-75 .
The Ferrari driver probably played the spin because after that curve the detection point of the DRS arrived, which provides a great advantage on the straight. In the telemetry offered by Formula 1 on its YouTube channel, you can see how he braked much later than Sergio Pérez, and that made his car enter the apex with too much speed, causing the car to fly over the grand piano yellow known as sausage. The key is in the landing, since he lost control when the tires touched the asphalt at an angle that favored it against the protections when turning while in the air, and damaged the nose, in addition to leaving flat tires.
Leclerc, once he got out of where he had been stuck, went from one side to the other, moving his steering wheel in a sudden way to check the condition of the car and, after seeing that he had already taken too many risks, he stopped to change the wing, thus ruling out that it could be picked up.
Had he lost the nose, he would almost certainly have ended up in the gravel or against the wall, but entering the pitlane he returned to the track in ninth place, starting a 10 -lap mini qualifying session to try and add the maximum number of points possible.
Throughout the laps, Charles Leclerc was able to climb to sixth place, collecting 8 units , something that, looking at it from a third perspective, did not turn out so badly, since he only left 7 points after an error that, normally, It ends in an abandonment due to broken suspension.
“I’m sorry. To all of you guys,” said the driver as he crossed the finish line, knowing that he must not make such mistakes again if he wants to remain a contender for his first Formula 1 world title.