Leclerc angered by "stupid" testing crash

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Leclerc angered by
Scott Mitchell
By: Scott Mitchell
Mar 10, 2018, 2:53 PM

Formula 1 rookie Charles Leclerc has admitted he was angered by the spin that contributed to almost five hours of lost running on the final test day before his debut.

Charles Leclerc, Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team walks in after crashing
Charles Leclerc, Alfa Romeo Sauber C37
Charles Leclerc, Sauber C37
The car of Charles Leclerc, Alfa Romeo Sauber C37 is recovered to the pits
Charles Leclerc, Alfa Romeo Sauber C37 crashes
Charles Leclerc, Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team walks in after crashing
Charles Leclerc, Alfa Romeo Sauber C37

The Sauber driver lost his C37 at the uphill Turn 12 right-hander on a personal-best lap and spun into the gravel, making light contact with the tyre wall.

Asked if the incident angered him, Leclerc replied: “Of course.

“I try to push the limit, which is normal in testing. I would be a lot more disappointed in myself if this happens in the race in Melbourne.

“I’ve learned a lot but still [have] a lot to learn. I’m just happy to have done it today [but] just feel a bit angry about myself.”

The reigning Formula 2 champion said he “went a little bit over the limit” and said it was an “error that has cost me quite a lot”.

“I will learn from it, I think it’s a bit stupid from my side to do it so early in the day but I mean it happens, I was pushing,” he said.

“I think the pace was very good on the lap I was doing. Obviously I didn’t finish it but it was completely my fault.”

Leclerc’s mistake meant he interrupted the second of his two race runs this week.

He also revealed another issue helped consign him to the garage for so long.

“The two first times [he spun earlier in the week] were just completely fine because it was normal,” he said.

“This morning I am a bit angry with myself because I touched the wall. So, it was not like a normal spin, I touched a little bit the wall.

“Then we’ve had two different issues. That’s why we stayed very long out off the track, it was not only for my crash.

“But anyway, we lost a bit of time on track because of me and this is something that should not have happened.”

Despite the problems, Ferrari protege Leclerc completed 375 laps ahead of his first grand prix in Australia later this month.

He said he felt “ready for Melbourne” and was encouraged despite a final day that he said “hasn’t been very good”.

“Formula 1 is still pretty new to me,” he said. “But I think I’ve learned a lot on the performance side.

“I think we are there and I think I’ve improved a lot in this test.”

Additional reporting by Erwin Jaeggi

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