Charles Leclerc says he is “not saying that last year there was no respect between Max and Lewis, but it seemed like a different battle than ours”.
There’s no doubt that Max Verstappen’s title battle (if it can still be called that) with Charles Leclerc is much different than the fight he had with Lewis Hamilton last year.
While wheel-to-wheel battles between the two championship contenders this year have been devoid of any incidents, in 2021 almost every on-track encounter resulted in a controversial situation.
It has to be noted, though, that the title fight is not as close as it was last year, with Verstappen currently topping the Drivers’ Championship standings, while Leclerc is only third.
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In a talk with Corriere della Sera, Leclerc acknowledged that his on-track battles with the Dutch driver are very different from the battles between Verstappen and Hamilton in 2021.
“I like to face Max, we have a similar level of aggression,” Leclerc said.
“We have fun, but also respect. I’m not saying that last year there was no respect between Max and Lewis, but it seemed like a different battle than ours.
“But if we were to get to the end of the championship very close as points, the situation would be much more tense than now,” he concluded.