Charles Leclerc believes Lando Norris will be feeling “very, very guilty” after losing a potential first win by gambling in the rain in Russia.
Norris elected not to pit for intermediate tyres in the closing stages of the Russian Grand Prix and dropped from first to seventh in the chaotic closing laps, handing victory to Lewis Hamilton.
After Leclerc experienced his own late-race disappointment in Bahrain two years ago, when he was leading comfortably until his engine lost power with 11 laps to go, dropping him to third behind Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, the Monegasque driver was able to sympathise the Norris.
“It is difficult," said Leclerc. "Obviously, I can imagine what he is feeling today because also he is part of the decision process in those types of situations and he might feel very, very guilty.
"But he is an amazing driver. He has shown it very often this season. He has had a very strong season and he will learn from it, and it is just a matter of time before his first win. I don’t think he should feel so down after the race he has done.”
Leclerc to analyse decision making process after ‘disappointing’ finish
Leclerc has promised to analyse his own decision-making process in the Russian Grand Prix after he gambled on staying out in deteriorating conditions cost him and his Ferrari team a points finish.
After matching race leader Norris’ decision to keep going on slick tyres as rain fell in the closing laps, Leclerc too slipped down the order and finished in 15th place.
“It was obviously very tricky," explained Leclerc. "I think we stayed two more laps out compared to the others and I think for these two laps it was quite good because we were competitive.
“But then obviously the rain picked up by quite a lot and that put us in a very bad situation because we lost everything in one lap. Whether it is Lando or myself, it was a very similar situation.
“I will analyse what I could have done better as a driver because I feel like I could have done a better job in helping the team take the right decision.
“Before that it was a very positive race on my side so it disappoints me even more to finish in that way. It is the way it is now and I will try to live with it.”
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