Hulkenberg: "Impatient" Leclerc showed his frustration

Nico Hulkenberg believes Formula 1 rival Charles Leclerc was “impatient” and “definitely too ambitious” in attempting the move that caused their Monaco Grand Prix clash.

Hulkenberg: "Impatient" Leclerc showed his frustration

Leclerc, who had started 15th after a strategy error from Ferrari saw him eliminated in Q1 from Saturday, was on an early charge through the field and passed Romain Grosjean for 12th with an audacious move down the inside of La Rascasse before coming up on Hulkenberg.

He tried to overtake Hulkenberg at the same right-hander a lap later, but ran out of space, clipping the wall on the right-hand side and spinning out into Hulkenberg.

While both carried on, Leclerc retired with damage a couple of laps later, while Hulkenberg was forced into the pits with a puncture, which cost him track position and ultimately ended his chances of scoring any points.

Asked whether Leclerc had been too aggressive, Hulkenberg said: “Yeah, he was. You know he came, first of all, from quite far back and then I didn't leave much of a gap anyway and I saw that he launched and I played fair and opened the steering and tried to leave him some space, and tried to let us both lift.

“He spun, he just kissed me - I didn't hit the wall or anything but he sliced my rear tyre open. I think he was definitely too ambitious in that moment.”

More from Monaco GP:

Hulkenberg said he had been informed that Leclerc had passed Grosjean at La Rascasse, and was thus anticipating a move.

“I was aware of that, my engineer told me that, I could sense it coming but you've still got to weigh up your chances as a driver and know when it's a real opportunity or when [it's] not.

“But I think he was a bit impatient there today, obviously frustrated after yesterday and wanted to get through the field - but it's Monaco and it doesn't work like that always.”

Leclerc, for his part, believed he “had to take risks” given his starting position, and felt Hulkenberg hadn't left him as much space as Grosjean.

“I just said [to Hulkenberg] I think it was a racing incident, I don't think he left much space,” Leclerc said.

“I had to take a lot of risks, which we did - it was fun at the beginning, unfortunately it ended in disaster, but that's a bit Monaco.

“Unfortunately when we're starting P15, which is not our real pace position... it was difficult to come back for today.”

Grosjean, who had described Leclerc's earlier pass at La Rascasse as a “kamikaze” move, picked up two positions when the Monegasque's Hulkenberg attempt didn't come off – and said he could see it coming.

“Leclerc was very, very aggressive,” Grosjean said. “I opened the door just not to get contact but I knew someone would not do the same, and that happened the lap after, so we got two places there.”

Additional reporting by Stuart Codling

Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-19, leads Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-19, leads Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90

Photo by: Gareth Harford / Sutton Images

shares
comments
Verstappen was "really reserved" in Hamilton battle

Previous article

Verstappen was "really reserved" in Hamilton battle

Next article

Giorgio Piola launches Fine Art collection on Kickstarter

Giorgio Piola launches Fine Art collection on Kickstarter
Load comments
How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for 2021 Prime

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for 2021

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Prime

How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Prime

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments.

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Prime

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Prime

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021