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F1: Leclerc: I deserve what happened

One of the things that surely endeared race fans to Charles Leclerc during his rookie season with Sauber, was his ability to readily admit to his mistakes.

Judging by his reaction following his crash during Q2 today that robbed him of an almost certain pole position, the youngster proved that moving up to Ferrari has not changed him in terms of being his own harshest critic.

While others would have slunk back to their motorhomes and kept their helmets firmly in place to avoid eye contact, the youngster, helmet off, walked first to the pit-wall and then to his garage to apologise to his team.

Speaking to the media shortly after, Leclerc, whose hopes of pole ended at Turn 8, when he locked-up and failed to take the necessary avoiding action, instead heading into the barriers opposite that had previously claimed robert Kubica, admitted his error.

I deserve what happened today,” he told Sky Sports. “I am very, very sad for what happened, but I deserved it. I have been very stupid, as I said on the radio. I’ve calmed down but I still think I’ve been stupid, this does not change.

“Now we will push to learn from this and come back stronger and hopefully we’ll have a very good race tomorrow,” he added. “But yeah, I deserve this…

“I don’t want to say anything stupid, but after looking at FP1, FP2, FP3 and Q1, pole was possible today,” he sighed, “and I threw all that potential in the bin, so I’m very disappointed.”

While some claim Ferrari‘s choice of running both cars on the medium rubber was a contributory factor in the crash, Leclerc denied this.

“I just braked as much as I did on the soft,” he said, “but obviously I was on the medium and I just locked up. I don’t want it to be misunderstood, there is no problem with the tyres, it’s just myself. So I’m very disappointed.

“You can definitely overtake and I will push for that tomorrow,” he added. “But for the next three or four hours I will be beating myself up.”

Check out our Saturday gallery from Baku, here.

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