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Max Verstappen

Verstappen gives his thoughts on Leclerc's late-race error

Max Verstappen took a chunk out of Charles Leclerc's championship lead after capitalising on the Ferrari driver's spin at Imola.

Verstappen Leclerc Imola
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Max Verstappen has reacted to Charles Leclerc's "painful" mistake in the closing stages of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, sympathising that it's "easily done".

Leclerc was challenging Sergio Perez for second place after a late switch from Medium to Soft tyres but lost control of his Ferrari at the Variante Alta and struck the barriers, forcing him to pit again for a new front wing and fresh rubber.

With Verstappen taking victory, and Leclerc crossing the line back in sixth, the Monegasque's championship lead has been slashed to 27 points.

Verstappen: Leclerc's mistake is easily done

During the post-race press conference, Verstappen was asked for his reaction to Leclerc's costly error.

"It's easily done. Of course, he was pushing hard to try and fight Checo (Perez)," the Red Bull driver told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"It is painful, but I think he knows that himself. He doesn't need to hear that from anyone in here.

"It's still such a long championship, you can still gain a lot of points. It's not great, but you can't change it now and he doesn't do it on purpose."

What about Red Bull's reaction to Ferrari's strategy?

Verstappen took maximum points from the Imola weekend, having also won the Sprint and claimed the bonus for fastest lap.

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto has made clear that Leclerc's second pit-stop was not made with the intention of securing the bonus, but simply putting pressure on Red Bull.

Despite the late flurry of pit lane activity, Verstappen was undisturbed at the wheel of his Red Bull.

"I just heard that they were boxing, so I was like, 'Can I have some new tyres as well, please?" Verstappen laughed.

"But it was already all planned. If they're boxing anyway, I have the chance to do as well, right? Because I was up front.

"It's always nicer to drive on newer tyres than the old ones we had. I could have gone to the end, but it's just not as nice to go to the end."

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F1 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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