Charles Leclerc admits that he will choose his fights better following his opening-lap crash with Max Verstappen at the Sakhir GP.
Instead a Leclerc lunge on the inside of Perez left Leclerc with a wrecked Ferrari, while Perez was sent into a spin. Meanwhile the contact forced Verstappen to take evasive action, but his race would end in the wall after running out of space to escape the scene.
Verstappen made it clear that he was pointing the finger at Leclerc, and indeed the Ferrari driver accepted responsibility and received a three-place grid drop for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
And when speaking to reporters ahead of the season-ending event, Leclerc said he would choose his fights better from now on.
“I think I didn’t give much choice to the stewards basically,” he admitted.
“Because by not finishing the race, then well, I think I had to get a penalty somehow. And the only thing that was possible for them was to penalise me for the next race.
“It’s the way it is. And it’s like this, I think I’ve gained a lot in some of the races in the first lap, which helped me to gain a lot of points this year.
“And it happens that sometimes it just doesn’t go my way, which it didn’t last weekend. And it didn’t in Austria at the beginning of the year.
“But at the end, I’ve also gained a lot of points with that. And I’ll try to choose the fights better, because obviously gaining a position to Max was not going to bring us anywhere in a better position, because Max was anyway quicker than us. But anyway, it’s the past, I’ll learn from it. And that’s it.”
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Verstappen wasn’t interested in a “b*tch fight” over the incident, saying he just wants to race in Abu Dhabi and go home.
“I’m not interested at all, I just want to do the race here and then go home. It’s what it is,” he explained.
“So no point trying to just have a kind of a b*tch fight, and keep going on, talking to each other. It doesn’t matter. We both retired, and it’s what it is.
“I didn’t see the gravel, but I couldn’t have done anything else, because if I would have just tried to brake more and try to wait for Checo to stop spinning, basically I would have probably got hit by Charles, because his wheel was hanging off.
“So there was nowhere to go, and it was just super unlucky that it was a bit of gravel, and that’s why you just understeer into the wall.”