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Charles Leclerc

How Leclerc outsmarted Verstappen in epic fight for the lead

Charles Leclerc has shared more details about his scrap with Max Verstappen during the Bahrain Grand Prix, which he ultimately won.

Leclerc Verstappen Bahrain
To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Charles Leclerc has revealed that he pulled the same trick on Max Verstappen three times during the Bahrain Grand Prix, to ensure that he kept hold of the race lead.

Leclerc and Verstappen found themselves locked in an epic fight midway through the race when Red Bull caught Ferrari napping to close in during the first pit-stop phase.

Verstappen was close to four seconds behind when he pitted one lap earlier than Leclerc for new Medium tyres, but was side-by-side with his rival just two laps later.

The subsequent scrap saw the two drivers trade places six times over a three-lap period, with Verstappen snatching the lead on three occasions and Leclerc repeatedly wrestling it back.

But Leclerc told members of the media, including RacingNews365.com, that he was braking late, allowing Verstappen to pull ahead of him each time, so as to ensure he would have DRS up the hill, towards Turn 4, allowing him to instantly retake the lead.

Leclerc: It worked three times in a row!

Reflecting on the battle, Leclerc commented: "I was always behind him for [only] one corner and overtook him back into Turn 4.

"It was tricky but it was nice. It was on the limits, hard racing, but we always gave each other space, which was nice. It was always very close.

"I would always try to brake very early into Turn 1 to get the DRS for Turn 4, and it worked out, three times in a row, so then I could keep my lead!

"I was struggling quite a lot with my energy and how to manage that, too, but then, after the third lap, I think I was in a better window with it and could push again and manage the race."

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