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Why Leclerc is not using Hamilton as inspiration in Verstappen fight

Charles Leclerc leads the F1 Drivers' standings after two races spent fighting hard with World Champion Max Verstappen.

Charles Leclerc will not be using Lewis Hamilton's title battle with Max Verstappen as inspiration in his fight against the Red Bull driver. Leclerc leads the World Championship after two rounds; he finished first in Bahrain and second in Saudi Arabia, picking up 45 points along the way. On both occasions, the Ferrari racer found himself swapping places with Verstappen at the front and now boasts a 20-point advantage over his rival. There are still 21 races to go between now and the end of the season, with Leclerc anticipating plenty of twists and turns. But he will not be drawing inspiration from the fight Hamilton put up against Verstappen in 2021 as he prepares to go toe-to-toe with the Dutchman himself.

Leclerc: I have my own driving style

Leclerc is now into his fifth season in F1 but spent the two years prior working as a test driver for first Haas and then Sauber. During the 2016 season, whilst competing in GP3, Leclerc would have seen Hamilton and Nico Rosberg push each other all the way to an Abu Dhabi finale. The following season, as he inched closer to F1, Sebastian Vettel's two-year battle with Hamilton began as Ferrari twice missed out on the title. And in 2021, Verstappen and Hamilton's battle became one of the sport's most iconic, whilst Leclerc fought amongst the midfield runners in his Ferrari. "I actually didn't watch that much of these battles, some of the races I've watched," Leclerc told media, including RacingNews365.com , when asked what he can learn from title battles of the recent past. "I think I learned more from my own experiences. Every driver has their own driving style, I have my own one."

Can Leclerc match Verstappen's ferocity on track?

Leclerc has described his early on-track meetings with Verstappen as "hard but fair" with the pair yet to make contact or be subject to any stewards' investigation, despite trading positions. "I think in a wheel-to-wheel battle, I am quite strong and I always try to be better," Leclerc continued. "Max, I know him quite well, since karting we've had some great battles and we've grown up together, which I think also helped us grow in our own way. "As I said, I learn more from my own experiences than watching others."

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