Charles Leclerc crashed out of the French Grand Prix after crashing from the race lead. The Ferrari star lost control of his car in sector two as he was pushing to extend his advantage over Max Verstappen.
Reigning champion Verstappen had just pitted for hard tyres with Leclerc opting to stay out on his used medium tyres. As Verstappen chased down his rival, Leclerc was caught spinning into the wall at the fast turn 11.
The Ferrari driver appeared to catch the white line on the exit of the corner which was enough to spin him around due to his worn rubber.
Leclerc tried to reverse out of the wall after making contact with the barrier but his efforts were futile. Moments later, the Ferrari star was caught screaming down his team radio moments as his engineer checked on his condition.
The Monegasque also appeared to reveal part of the reason behind the accident. His race engineer asked: “Are you OK?”
READ MORE: Verstappen shows class with Leclerc message after French GP crash
However, Leclerc shouted back: “I cannot go off throttle! NOOOOOOOO!” It comes just two weeks after Leclerc complained of throttle issues at the Austrian Grand Prix. Leclerc was able to hold onto victory in Spielberg but the issue made for a tense end for the Ferrari team.
Former Mercedes star Nico Rosberg decided not to put the blame on Leclerc when analysing the accident. The 2016 world champion said the issue developed “mid-corner” and it would be “unusual” for a driver to lose the car at that stage.
He instead placed blame on Ferrari, suggesting there was “something wrong with the car”.
Rosberg explained: “What a horrible way to end the race there for Charles, I must really say that there must be something wrong with the car there because it was mid-corner where you’re saving tyres and you’re staying away from the limit there.
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“It would be so unusual for a world-class driver to lose the car there. I really think there was something wrong with that Ferrari.”
After learning of his rival’s accident, Verstappen showed concern over team radio. He asked: “Is he alright?”
His race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase replied: “Yes I’m told he’s ok Max. Thanks for asking.” The accident is the 24-year-old’s third retirement from pole this season after issues at the Spanish and Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
It means Verstappen can extend his championship advantage to over 60 points if he wins the French Grand Prix this afternoon.