Charles Leclerc says he enjoys racing against Max Verstappen but feels the Dutchman sometimes will overstep the limit in close combat, something he knows wouldn’t happen against Lewis Hamilton.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver believes he learns more from battling six-time World Champion Hamilton and knows that should he go wheel to wheel with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver, it would be close but clean racing.
Leclerc acknowledges that it is ‘exciting’ to fight against Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Verstappen, but there is always a little bit of excessive aggressiveness in the Dutchman’s driving compared to Hamilton, as the Monegasque driver found out in last season’s Austrian Grand Prix as the two battled for the lead and the race win.
“If I want to be sure to finish the race, probably Lewis!” said Leclerc on a Sky Sports F1 Vodcast when asked who he prefers racing against. “But for the fun and the close racing probably Max, because I know it’s always exciting to be fighting with Max.
“There’s very little space given but I think that’s what we all enjoy with the sport. Sometimes it’s a bit over the limit, sometimes it’s just on the limit, but I enjoy racing it in reality.
“Lewis is a bit of a different driving [style],” he continued. “He’s extremely clever and I learn always so much when I fight with Lewis. He always knows exactly what you are going to do next with his experience, and that’s what makes him so good on track with the battles.
“He’s not very aggressive, always very correct, but always very good to anticipate what you are going to do.”