Leclerc says Verstappen goes 'a bit over the limit'

2nd place Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB15 and 3rd place Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF90. 01.12.2019.
© XPB 

Charles Leclerc has accused Max Verstappen of going "a bit over the limit" in some of their on-track battles during the 2019 season.

But the Ferrari driver also says that he finds it exciting to race against his nemesis and contemporary, even if he finds it more educational to go toe-to-toe with current world champion Lewis Hamilton.

"It’s always exciting to be fighting with Max,” Leclerc told the Sky Sports F1 vodcast this week. "There’s very little space given but I think that's what we all enjoy with the sport.

"Sometimes it’s a bit over the limit, sometimes it’s just on the limit, but I enjoy racing it in reality.”

However, when asked by Paul Di Resta which driver he would prefer to be battling against for the lead toward the end of the race, Leclerc went for the safer option.

“If I want to be sure to finish the race, probably Lewis!" he admitted. "But for the fun and the close racing, probably Max.

“Lewis is a bit of a different driving,” Leclerc explained. “He’s not very aggressive, always very correct - but always very good to anticipate what you are going to do.

“He’s extremely clever, and I learn always so much when I fight with Lewis," he added. "He always knows exactly what you are going to do next with his experience. That’s what makes him so good on track with the battles."

Leclerc's most memorable on-track clash in 2019 was with his own team mate Sebastian Vettel near the end of the Brazilian Grand Prix. Despite that embarrassing incident, Leclerc insists that he still gets on well with Vettel.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari with Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari.

"The relationship with Seb is a lot better than people maybe think it is from looking from outside," he stated. "After Brazil it was difficult, but actually the race just after it was all fine again between us.

"It's always been the same from the beginning to now, and that's good. Even though we've had a few problems on track, every time we have spoken calmly and we came back stronger.

"So that is good and that's what I like with Seb," adding that he would like to see the four-time world champion extend his current contract at Ferrari and remain at Maranello beyond the end of 2020.

"I would be very happy to keep him," he confirmed. "But again, as I've said, I will also respect if Ferrari is choosing to go for someone else."

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