Leclerc lost Azerbaijan GP lead to Hamilton after avoiding tree branch

Leclerc led the opening two laps in Baku immediately after taking his 2nd straight pole for Ferrari on Saturday, but was handed by Hamilton’s Mercedes as they arrived across the line to begin the third lap.

Hamilton had managed to gain on Leclerc by means of the high-speed last sector, inevitably having the pass concluded into Flip 1. Leclerc then missing sites to the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez inside the upcoming 5 laps, leaving him fourth just before coming into the pits.

But Leclerc has discovered that an errant tree department on the monitor at Switch 15 prompted him to cut the corner and then back again off to ensure he did not obtain a long lasting benefit above Hamilton, making it possible for the Mercedes to near up.

Verstappen was witnessed taking equivalent evasive motion on the planet feed through the race.

News from Azerbaijan GP:

“It was starting off to be quite Okay in the initially couple laps,” Leclerc reported.

“Then there was a little something that I consider hasn’t been witnessed on Tv. There was part of a tree in the center of Change 15, and there I really missing very a little bit of time.

“I cut the monitor and I was a little bit fearful to attain time on Lewis at the rear of that hadn’t reduce the observe. So I slowed down and then he overtook me.

“From then on, it was really difficult, since I was behind Lewis in soiled air, which I struggled a tiny bit, as quickly as I shed the DRS, Max overtook me.

“Then you are just in a vicious circle that is quite tricky, because I experienced autos all about me that experienced a bit far more pace than I did.”

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Ferrari opted to bring Leclerc in early, only for him to lose a situation to Pierre Gasly, while Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel battled previous just after the very first safety car restart.

Leclerc eventually completed the race in fourth position, narrowly shedding out to Gasly in a late fight to entire the podium.

Despite using pole, Ferrari experienced downplayed its prospects of maintaining its benefit above Mercedes and Pink Bull in the race, leaving Leclerc unsurprised by his early decline of spots.

“I struggled a tiny little bit, then I recovered a little bit of speed, but then we made a decision to stop early to go on all those challenging tyres,” Leclerc explained.

“Let’s say there was practically nothing that was unanticipated in people initially several laps, for the reason that we expected Mercedes and Pink Bull to be a bit more robust anyway.”

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