Leclerc believes nothing ‘outside the limit’ in Silverstone battle

Michelle Foster
Charles Leclerc racing ahead of Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton. Silverstone July 2022

Charles Leclerc has responded to Fernando Alonso’s confusion, saying there wasn’t “anything outside the limit” in his late-race battle with Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone.

Alonso, crossing the line P5, told the media after the grand prix that he expected to be promoted up the order as there was passing off the track ahead of him as well as more than one move to defend.

The Alpine driver doubled down on that in the build-up to the Austrian Grand Prix.

“Honestly, I watched the race on Monday and more than the movements [of Leclerc] on the straight, I saw the action between Charles, Checo and Lewis, which obviously was fantastic to watch on TV and for me to witness behind the cars,” he said.

“But at the beginning of the year, leaving the track was not allowed. It was very clear black and white. And now, leaving the track and keep flat out on the run-off area and keep fighting on the following corner, is allowed.

“So that’s a completely different direction with what we have seen so far. So it will be very, very interesting to clear this up.”

Both Leclerc and Perez were off the track at one point of the battle, either squeezed off or running wide, but no penalties were handed out.

The Monégasque driver reckons the battle was above board.

“I don’t think there was anything outside the limit there,” he said as per Autosport. “Obviously, it was hard racing, but I really enjoyed it again.

“I mean, you can have rules for every situation but then it becomes a disaster and sometimes you just need to let the show go.

“I think we managed the situation well. It was very, very tricky. And all of us played a little bit with the limits and probably me, the first one, because I was in a pretty shitty situation.

“But I tried to do my best and it was fun.”

But while Hamilton also feels it was “good racing”, the Briton reckons those rules do need to be clarified.

“I’ve seen one clip of the time when I overtook them and I think Checo went off-track and gained an advantage,” he said.

“In those scenarios, I think as drivers, we’re generally asking for things to be black and white. So you can do this, you can’t do that: not that it’s dependent on lots of different things.

“One of the things we’re talking about is weaving when you’re defending. It’s always been that you’re only allowed to move once to defend, not several times.

“We’ve just got to continue to work towards consistency. But I think the racing was really great. I don’t think there was anything really bad to take from the weekend. I think we just continue to get stronger in terms of how they apply the rules and clarity.”