Formula 1 Racing

Leclerc surprised by “aggressive” Norris F1 Brazil GP clash

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, hits the barrier

The incident happened on the first flying lap after a safety car period triggered by a clash between Kevin Magnussen and Daniel Ricciardo just after the original start. Norris had passed Leclerc, who was on medium tyres, off the line.

At the safety car restart, Leclerc was trying to re-pass Norris on the outside of Turn 6 when he was tipped into a spin by the McLaren driver.

Leclerc struck the barrier with the front of his car and was obliged to pit for a new nose and begin a recovery drive.

Norris received a five-second penalty for the incident, plus two penalty points, and he later retired from the race with an electrical issue.

Leclerc eventually recovered to fourth, although he was left frustrated after Ferrari opted not to swap him with Carlos Sainz, costing valuable points in his battle with Sergio Perez for runner-up spot in the World Championship.

Leclerc conceded that Norris was not usually the type of driver to make contact.

“No of course,” he said when asked by if he’d expect such a move from the Englishman.

“Obviously I know Lando is not this type of guy, but for some reason today he was very aggressive, and also yesterday the same with Carlos.

“I don’t really understand, but it’s like this. At the end I don’t expect him to let me pass, he didn’t, but today was too much, and he paid the price with the penalty, I guess.

“I thought I had left space, well I’m pretty sure I left space, so I think he lost the rear and then touched me. So it’s a shame.”

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, hits the barrier

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Leclerc conceded that he hadn’t expected to be able to continue the race after hitting the barrier.

“I was very surprised, yes,” he said. “I think we were quite lucky, I don’t know how much damage the car had. It didn’t feel too bad, maybe steering a little bit to the right, but apart from that it was okay.

“And after that the pace was really good all in all. Especially considering the first lap before, it was the best we could do today.”

Leclerc believed that starting on mediums was the correct choice, although his incident meant that it didn’t play out was planned.

He added: “I think it was. Obviously we never really saw our strategy just because of the first lap shunt, and I think Carlos had a few problems maybe, I don’t know.

“Difficult to judge it, but I feel like it was the right thing to do.

Mercedes is extremely…

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