Christian Horner has shown support for Charles Leclerc after he crashed out of the lead at the French Grand Prix, describing him as "very strong" competitor.
Leclerc led the early stages of the race from pole position but slid into the barriers on Lap 18 of 53, effectively handing the win to title rival Max Verstappen.
With Verstappen going on to claim victory, the reigning World Champion now enjoys a 63-point lead over Leclerc in the Drivers' standings.
Leclerc's mistake was his second high-profile error of the season, having also lost points with a spin at the Emilia Romagna GP.
Horner: Leclerc's bad luck was our good luck
Asked in an interview with Sky Sports F1 if Leclerc is a "crasher" and will keep denting his own chances, Horner voiced support for the Ferrari man.
"I don't think so," commented the Red Bull team boss.
"I don't know whether anything else contributed to his accident, but he's a very strong driver.
"I mean, these two guys, they're operating at such [a high level] and pushing each other so hard. These cars are right on the edge in these conditions.
"His bad luck was our good luck today and it's swung around during the course of the year."
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Verstappen also "feels sorry" for Leclerc
Verstappen was quick to check in on Leclerc over the team radio after he saw the Monegasque's car in the barriers.
The Dutchman also joined Horner post-race in offering commiserations to his rival.
"I feel sorry for him; it's not nice and he knows that," said Verstappen.
"I think it would have been a really good battle to the end. Unfortunately, we never got to that but, luckily, Charles is okay."
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