Formula 1

Charles Leclerc: “It was a good call to make sure we are all safe given the gravity of the rain”

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Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc admitted it was a strange end to the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, with only a handful of laps being completed behind the safety car being called as a race.

The Scuderia Ferrari driver finished eighth after profiting from Sergio Pérez’s misfortune before the start to move up one place, with the position enough to give him two points in the championship.

Leclerc says it was a good call not to race given the safety concerns at Spa-Francorchamps in wet conditions, and he admits it was a shame to the fans that stuck around expecting a race that no green flag running was possible.

“It’s a strange end to the weekend, not having had a proper race,” said Leclerc.  “Most of all, it’s a shame for all the fans who came out to see us race. I’d like to thank everyone who stayed in the grandstands hoping that the conditions will improve.

“It surely wasn’t easy and I have massive respect for every single person who stayed here with us. The track conditions weren’t that bad in terms of standing water, but in terms of visibility, it was a disaster.

“I couldn’t see anything ahead and it was a good call to make sure we are all safe given the gravity of the rain today. I think one of our general weaknesses is the wet, so we will work on improving that over the next few weeks.”

Leclerc says the focus is already turning to next weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix at the Circuit Zandvoort, and he knows it will be important to take the fight to the McLaren F1 Team, who edged ahead of them in the Constructors’ Championship thanks to Daniel Ricciardo’s fourth place in Belgium.

“Our next race is in the Netherlands in just a few days,” said Leclerc.  “A nice challenge, given that we will all have to adjust and try to find the best possible set-up for this new track in the shortest amount of time.”

“The visibility was too poor for us to race” – Carlos Sainz Jr.

Team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. also profited from Pérez’s pre-race crash to move up from eleventh to tenth, although the Spaniard will leave Belgium with only half a point to his name.

Sainz says conditions were never good enough for them to race, and safety must always be the priority, but it was a shame that the fans who stuck around to see the race were not allowed to see the cars racing at full speed.

“Obviously, it’s a great shame that we were unable to put on a bit of a show for the courageous fans who braved the terrible weather to come and watch and for the people at home,” said Sainz.  

“Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do, as the visibility was too poor for us to race. For me, it’s also a shame because we could’ve tried to make up some places from my grid position, but safety must always be the priority.

“Now it’s time to turn the page and luckily on Friday we will already be back on track at Zandvoort. Looking forward to my first race there in Formula 1.”

Carlos Sainz Jr. scored half a point in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix – Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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