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Leclerc "lucky" to score after chaos-inducing crash

Leclerc "lucky" to score after chaos-inducing crash

F1 News

Leclerc "lucky" to score after chaos-inducing crash

Leclerc "lucky" to score after chaos-inducing crash

Charles Leclerc conceded he was "lucky" to score points after getting away with the contact that ended Sergio Perez's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The pair came together through turn three during the first red flag restart, triggering a meleé that also claimed the races of Nikita Mazepin and George Russell.

Leclerc had started fourth but found himself back in the pack alongside Perez after pitting under the safety car triggered by Mick Schumacher before the FIA upgraded the stoppage to a red flag period.

The Monegasque eventually recovered to finish seventh, one place ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz.

"It is a shame," Leclerc told Sky Sports F1.

"In the first part, I thought the VSC was perfect for us. We were on the medium, VSC to the end, put on the hard until the end and that is it.

"Three laps later, the red flag basically compromised our race a little bit with three places lost.

"And then for all the restarts after, I struggled massively with those hard tyres. We lost positions at every restart and I tried to come back towards the end with those hard tyres but it wasn't enough.

"Seventh place, I am not very happy with that but overall, the pace was very very positive."

Addressing his contact with the Red Bull, Leclerc added: "I was on the left and I thought he would leave a space and I don't think he saw me. I was very lucky to get out of it without big damage."

Perez 'thought Leclerc was not there'

Perez's retirement was a major dent to Red Bull's constructors' championship aspirations with Mercedes taking a double podium finish.

Giving his version of events, the Mexican said: "It was an unfortunate incident.

"There was not much Charles could have done. I thought he was not there anymore because there wasn't anymore room for him to be there.

"As we were doing the corner, I just got touched by him and yeah, unfortunately, that meant that we had the contact.

"We thought we could restart the engine but it was a bit on the hot side so we couldn't restart it."

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