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Leclerc rejects Hamilton's Monza accusations

Leclerc rejects Hamilton's Monza accusations

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Leclerc rejects Hamilton's Monza accusations

Leclerc rejects Hamilton's Monza accusations

Charles Leclerc dismissed Lewis Hamilton's suggestion that Ferrari had purposefully triggered the chaotic end to Italian Grand Prix qualifying which saw most of the field fail to set a final lap time.

As the nine remaining driers in the session tried not to be the one to lead the train, and run without a slipstream, only Leclerc and Carlos Sainz actually got over the start line before the chequered flag dropped.

It meant Leclerc took pole, having benefitted from a tow from team-mate Sebastian Vettel, with Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas rounding out the top three.

Hamilton said Ferrari had "timed out" the rest of the field after getting on provisional pole, but Leclerc said he was trying to find a gap to return the favour to Vettel.

"It was definitely not intentional from our side," he said.

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"There was also Seb that was capable of having the pole position and we didn't want to sacrifice one car for the pole with the other.

"It was quite tricky. I definitely think that situations like what happened after the second corner shouldn't happen, there are two cars side-by-side going at 20kph and we couldn't pass them.

"I think most of the drivers behind wanted to pass but didn't have the opportunity. This situations have made a big mess towards the end and that's why some cars didn't make it to start their laps.

"To be completely honest the plan was that in the first run Seb was giving me the tow and in the second run I would give him the tow.

"I actually went out of the box in front of him and then there was the huge mess after Turn 1 and 2 and the McLaren and the Renault, they stopped in the middle of the track and we had nowhere to go.

"Seb overtook me there with the mess because obviously we were quite aware that it was quite tight on time and then I stayed basically behind Seb until the last straight where I heard also on the radio 'you can overtake Seb', so I overtook him but then I had no time for me either to start the lap. It was a shame but I don't think I could have done much more."

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