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Leclerc responds to Hill accusation

Leclerc responds to Hill accusation

Leclerc responds to Hill accusation

Leclerc responds to Hill accusation
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Charles Leclerc has insisted he had to back his Ferrari team during qualifying for the São Paulo Grand Prix in response to suggestions from Damon Hill he should show more "courage" and assume responsibility for decision-making.

The Monégasque started Saturday's sprint at Interlagos 10th on the grid after the Scuderia sent him out for Q3 on intermediates.

With his nine rivals able to set a lap on slick tyres before George Russell beached his Mercedes in the gravel and rain fell, Leclerc was left furious with the indecisiveness.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, 1996 world champion Hill suggested the blame did not lie 100 percent with the team.

After fighting his way to sixth in the 24-lap sprint, which becomes fifth on the grid for the grand prix as team-mate Carlos Sainz serves a penalty for an engine change, Leclerc assessed: "To be honest, there is not much to go into.

"We have taken the wrong decision. The team told me it was raining and it wasn't so we were on inters when it was still [conditions] for slicks.

"Hopefully we won't do this mistake again."

Responding directly to Hill's comments when asked if the Briton's views were fair, third-in-the-championship Leclerc conceded: "In some occasions yes.

"[In qualifying], I had no idea of what was going on.

"If the team tells me it is raining outside, I don't see outside or at least not in turn 12 or whatever.

"In those situations, I cannot do much."

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