Leclerc reflects on 'immature' rivalry with Verstappen
Charles Leclerc has confirmed that relations between himself and Max Verstappen were strained as they rivalled each other in their younger racing years, but says any future battles between them will be played out to much more cordial backing.
Leclerc has secured two pole positions in his debut campaign for Ferrari, while Verstappen's victories in Austria and Germany have raised his profile even further.
The pair shape as great rivals for years to come and have previous in their karting career.
Previous on-track spats have been documented, and a widely shared video showing Verstappen taking umbrage with Leclerc for a sharp passing move raised a smile after their battle at the Austrian Grand Prix.
However, Leclerc says he can now separate Verstappen's feisty on-track stylings with his off-track self.
"We wouldn't even say goodbye to each other as kids because we confused the driver with the person, we were immature," Leclerc told Corriere della Sera.
"Now we don't mix the two, fortunately."
A thrilling fight in Spielberg which went Verstappen's way for victory at the last saw Leclerc agonisingly miss out on a maiden grand prix win for the second time in 2019, having seen a certain win in Bahrain slip through his fingers due to a mechanical fault.
"In Austria Max had more, and I struggled to keep up with him," Leclerc said.
"In Bahrain it was a bit difficult to accept, but in the end as I have been driving since I was three I immediately turned the page.
"In this sport you always push to the limit, it is normal that you can break something. You know this risk exists, otherwise you stay at home."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.