Max and Charles made the F1 season a duopoly Car News

To answer the question Leclerc evaded about his advantages over Verstappen, what has always been very clear is that he is fast – surprisingly. You can argue that Leclerc is the fastest in F1 over a single lap, thanks to his amazing feel and pull-sensing abilities. Verstappen teases the limit on a typical qualifying lap, but Leclerc openly defies it.

Some of the most spectacular qualifying laps in recent F1 history were achieved by Leclerc, including his astonishing pole position lap on the narrow and bumpy streets of Singapore in 2019.

Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz, no slouch himself, admitted last year that Leclerc was “so fast it was actually a bit shocking”. Given that it’s rare for F1 drivers to admit that someone else’s speed might be hard to live with, that was high praise.

But that speed comes at a cost – the one Leclerc paid at Imola when he spun into the wall as he chased Sergio Pérez for second place, dropping from third to sixth and costing him seven points. Leclerc can live on the edge longer than most, but every now and then he falls off it.

Verstappen has largely eliminated errors. In 2018 he made a series of careless mistakes and emerged a more calculating driver to the point where consistency was a key weapon in his title success in 2021. When he finished he was always first or second – except in Hungary, where his car suffered major damage at the start (no fault of his own) and he still finished a remarkable ninth.

Verstappen is now the experienced, seasoned hand that realizes you don’t have to drive 100% all the time. He is well established as a Red Bull focal point and has developed an intelligent, methodical and calm approach which has served him well.

Leclerc is always a work in progress, a driver who is sometimes inclined to work around a problem rather than solve it just because he is so good at it. However, he has learned a lot from Sainz over the past 18 months and has improved his game both technically and in terms of the art of tire and racing management.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-28 23:01:00

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