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Leclerc disappointed with second place in Las Vegas Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc conceded his disappointment at falling short of a victory but affirmed that securing second place was the optimal outcome in a captivating Las Vegas Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc experienced a rollercoaster race at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, securing a hard-fought second place.

Sergio Perez (left), Max Verstappen (middle), and Charles Leclerc (right) after finishing on the podium in the F1 Grand Prix of Las Vegas at Las Vegas Strip Circuit (Image Credit: Mark Thompson – Getty Images)

Despite starting on pole, he faced an early setback when Max Verstappen overtook him. Verstappen’s penalty for pushing Leclerc off the track at Turn 1 allowed Leclerc to regain the lead a few laps later, leaving him with mixed feelings of disappointment and satisfaction.

Charles Leclerc reflects on thrilling Las Vegas Grand Prix

Despite starting on pole after an electric qualifying session, Leclerc dropped to third after switching his medium tires for the hard compound just before a Safety Car was deployed after Mercedes’ George Russell and Max Verstappen made contact.

The Monegasque driver chose to stay out on track, opting for track position over fresh rubber while his competitors pitted. Initially losing ground to both Red Bull drivers, he mounted a thrilling comeback on the final lap, overtaking Sergio Perez to secure a well-deserved second place.

Speaking in a post-race interview with F1, Leclerc commented: “I mean, what a race. Honestly, I enjoyed it so much. I am, of course, disappointed to only finish second, but at the end, that was the best we could do.”

The start proved challenging for Leclerc, with Verstappen squeezing him on the outside, but the Ferrari driver showcased impressive pace and determination throughout the race.

Addressing the strategic decision not to pit during the Safety Car period, Leclerc explained, “We went for track position and keeping that first place, and that was difficult with the older tires towards the end.

“We got a bit unlucky with the Safety Car. We didn’t pit because we didn’t know what the others would do. We went for track position and keeping that first place and that was difficult with the older tyres towards the end. Second place with a lot of fights, honestly, I enjoyed it.

Leclerc emphasized the enjoyment he derived from the race, saying, “Second place with a lot of fights, honestly, I enjoyed it.” He acknowledged the unpredictable nature of the race and the challenges faced, particularly with the older tires.

Concluding his thoughts and feelings of the track and the race itself, Leclerc put the entire weekend affair in a good light despite issues cropping up throughout, “Yeah, again I really enjoyed it, and I think we needed it.” He expressed his happiness with the thrilling conclusion to the weekend, praising the incredible energy surrounding the city of Las Vegas, and signing off with an apology to Ferrari fans who thought a first-place finish was on the cards.

“I’m sorry about the second place, I gave it my all. But on the other hand, I am sure that everybody had an amazing time looking at the race. We should have more races like that where the racing is like that because it was really enjoyable.”

Feature Image Credit: @ScuderiaFerrari on X

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