Drivers like Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc had abundant exposure to motorsports and Formula 1 in particular. While Verstappen’s father Jos Verstappen has been an F1 driver in the past and also acts as his mentor, Leclerc’s godfather Jules Bianchi was a Marussia driver until his untimely death. They spent their karting days together and had their fair share of rivalry and competition against friendship and brotherhood.
Following the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix, Max Verstappen, and Charles Leclerc discussed their relationship in detail, emphasizing how they were able to resolve on-track issues with in-depth debriefings. During this conversation, the Monegasque said, “Yeah, exactly. However, I think the debriefs we had back in the day were a bit more tense.” The Red Bull driver quickly interrupted him and said, “It was just an inchident [sic.]” referencing an old video of theirs.
Max: “I think the debriefing is something that we naturally do. We did that already back in the days in karting. It‘s nice especially when you have a nice race.
Charles: “Exactly, however the debriefs we had back in the days were a bit more tense.”
Max: “Just an inchident.”… pic.twitter.com/bODnsQnWUU
— tami. (@Vetteleclerc) November 19, 2023
The press conference at Sin City resembled their regular exchanges, with both drivers taking full advantage of any chance to talk. The incident in issue happened when Verstappen squeezed Leclerc off the track while running the inside line during the first circuits of the Las Vegas Grand Prix. The Monegasque driver knew he was going to run out of room, but with the little margin, he expected it.
Max Verstappen beats Charles Leclerc at the Las Vegas GP despite pole finish
Despite the Monegasque driver’s impressive pole finish during the qualifying session at Las Vegas, Verstappen managed to change the course of the event. The Red Bull driver remained unfazed and had a clear goal in his head. Leclerc lost the lead to Verstappen at the very start of the race, but the Dutchman was penalized five seconds for pushing his rival off the course. He maintained resilience and tactical awareness even though he lost the lead during the first pit stops.
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 19, 2023
The Ferrari driver struggled with tire graining and delayed his first stint. Verstappen and the others were able to pit with caution, nevertheless, due to a prompt Safety Car. Leclerc took the lead on the crucial restart and held off the second Red Bull driver, Sergio Perez, who was experiencing tire degradation. In the closing laps, Verstappen put on a stunning show, winning the competition at the Las Vegas Street Circuit.
On the final lap, a determined Charles Leclerc passed Perez, who had been trailing closely, and created a Red Bull one-two. George Russell of Mercedes was just ahead of Esteban Ocon, who finished in fourth position owing to an exceptional drive. But Russell suffered a penalty for his collision with Verstappen, which sent Lance Stroll up to the fifth spot.