Leclerc: ‘Verstappen and I hated each other in karting’

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In the round-up: Charles Leclerc says his battles with Max Verstappen in Formula 1 are more “fun” than compared to the pair’s karting rivalry.

In brief

Verstappen and I ‘hated each other in karting’ says Leclerc

F1 title rivals Leclerc and Verstappen competed in karts together and a video of the pair speaking after an “incident” during a race became infamous after it re-emerged after they were reunited in top-level motor racing.

Championship leader Leclerc says his history of competing against the world champion means he expects the fight against Verstappen to last all season.

“I think it’s going to be very close – it’s always been very close,” Leclerc said. “Especially in the junior categories in karting, I remember it was either me or him and that’s why we hated each other at one point because he very often it didn’t end in the best way possible!

“I think we just have very two very different styles of driving. Sometimes one will win, sometimes the other might. But it’s fun. I like it.”

Schumacher keen to try Race of Champions skills in wet conditions

Mick Schumacher says he is excited by the prospect of driving in the wet during the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix weekend at Imola.

Rain is scheduled for this afternoon’s one and only practice session before qualifying takes place this evening. Asked by RaceFans how he felt about the prospect of running in the wet this weekend, Schumacher said he was “looking forward” to it.

“I think it’s always something which obviously adds a bit of spice and makes things fun,” said Schumacher.

“Also, driving in the wind is always something that I enjoyed in the past and also with the Race of Champions I managed to build up on that skill a bit. So yeah, I’m looking forward to it.”

Quotes: Claire Cottingham

Having no team mate making rookie IndyCar season challenging, says Ilott

Callum Ilott says it is “difficult” to race as a rookie in IndyCar without having a team mate as a reference.

The British driver is racing with the Juncos Hollinger team, both having made their debuts in the series at the end of last season. Ilott says he misses having a reference to compare himself to.

“Without a team mate, it’s difficult,” he said. “I’m a rookie, the team’s a rookie. It’s hard to get the direction sometimes. But we’re making the best out of it.

“I think we’re doing a better job than some people. I also think if we continue the momentum, get some of these improvements solidified, we can definitely do a good job.”

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Comment of the day

As Formula 1’s circuit ethos continues to evolve with multiple tracks being modified to better suit the wider, heavy current cars, @mmertens thinks the more recent additions to the calendar are preferable to many added in the two decades prior…

Well, it’s a trade-off. I certainly think nimbler cars are more exciting to watch, but at the same time, I’m really glad that the trend of off-camber-slow-corner-connected to a straight in a parking lot Tilkedrome circuits are now being replaced by new venues that are more punishing and different.

Also, the best thing of Covid was the fact that they had brought back some traditional and punishing tracks, as Imola, and also tried new “old tracks” as Mugello too.

The only thing that still concerns me is when they try to overhaul old tracks. To be honest, I still prefer the old Albert Track than the new one, it had more character and it was harder driving wise. Other than that, I rather having more Jeddah / Baku / Miami / Las Vegas layouts than Abu Dhabi / Korea / Russia / Valencia tracks, that’s for sure!

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Fixy, Kaylee911, Tracy Brockman, Tracy and Thomas Krol!

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 15 comments on “Leclerc: ‘Verstappen and I hated each other in karting’”

    1. I kind liked Korea for the reasons I dislike it, a typical Tilke track, one where he tried to put everything in it. Korea ended up with 1 straight sector, 1 high speed and 1 tight sector. One track like this is fine but all Tilke tracks were tracks with no character, all trying to do everything. Monza is straight forward, monaco is tight, silverstone is high speed, I’d rather have a varied calendar than a varied track.

      1. I’d rather have a varied calendar than a varied track.

        I couldn’t agree more with this.

      2. I’d rather have a varied calendar than a varied track.

        As a viewer, a competitor or even a series promoter – yes, you would.

        But as someone who is about to spend $250m on a brand new circuit? You’d quite likely want a variety of elements that take inspiration from the greatest and most popular circuits around the world. And if you were aiming to attract F1, you’d want the circuit to complement/exploit the nature of the cars that use it. Not the cars from 50+ years ago.
        That’s what owners ask for, so that’s what Tilke gives them.

        1. Austin did this well. Took ideas from some other tracks but added a massive hill, differentiated in some other ways.

          I like the idea that a world championship should take you across different challenges via circuit types and also that championships should be unique and change year to year as they go to different circuits. Kinda like on cycling Tours they have different routes each year, they go back to the same key places but some years are harder mountains than others, sometimes there are more sprint stages etc. They should do that with F1 and give each championship it’s own vintage almost.

      3. Strong agree with your final sentiment. In 2020 it was great to see so much positivity over one-off tracks like Mugello, Bahrain Outer Circuit, even if fans knew they weren’t the most compatible with F1. It really showed that diversity in the tracks that F1 visits has a positive impact on the sport.

    2. I do like the new Williams “Motorhome” – bringing the Death Star to a paddock near you.

    3. What’s with this rainy Imola races hype? I never see everyone so certain about some race is going to be wet race like this before. Was it determine by AWS or something?

      1. Wishful thinking.
        This place needs rain to be interesting these days.

    4. Austin is a Surprising location choice for this time of year, some six months before the US GP.

      Milk order in testing, LOL, & quite a few close-calls in that same test.

      A good COTD & I agree to some extent, although I’m mostly happy with the present track variety.

      1. I seemingly forgot to uncapitalize the surprising S.

    5. @jerejj the “milk order” is what type of milk the driver would like to celebrate with on the podium should they win the Indy 500.
      Milk on the podium has been an Indy tradition for years, but this allows the drivers a choice (lactose free / vegan options are available on request).

    6. The first headlines of the future?

    7. About Cotd. Was I the only who liked Valencia. It was partly fast. It hardly had any room for errors and only one “long” straight. It was close to a city and I would totally replace Barcelona with Valencia

      1. Valencia had the potential to be good, but the cars ruined it. As happens so often with F1.

      2. A few years back you’d have been vilified for that opinion! The track was in the wrong part of Valencia (aesthetics-wise at the very least), had too many slow pointless chicanes and was totally unsuited to F1 cars… though its reputation is inflated by the accidentally excellent 2012 race!

    Comments are closed.