Palmer: "Almost perfect drive" for Charles Leclerc when it was "harder than most"

03-09-2019 11:15 | Updated: 03-09-2019 11:16
by Bobby Vincent
F1 News
Palmer: Almost perfect drive for Charles Leclerc when it was harder than most

Former Formula 1 driver Jolyon Palmer has heaped the praise on Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc after an "almost perfect drive" at the Belgian Grand Prix when it "tougher than most" for the young Monegasque driver.

The world of motorsport was brought to a sudden hault on Saturday, after the tragic death of Anthoine Hubert, who was involved in a horrific crash, leaving fellow Formula 2 driver Juan Manuel Correa in critical condition with leg and spine injuries as well.

Leclerc has been friends with Hubert since a young age and for him, it may have been harder than most to race on Sunday. With the Ferrari driver starting on pole position after an immense qualifying before the F2 crash, Leclerc managed to bring his qualifying form into the race.

"For Leclerc, this was tougher than for most," Palmer said on his BBC Sport column. "He knew Hubert well, having raced against him on and off throughout his career, including in his very first kart race. Yet his drive was almost perfect. Indeed, his performance over the entire weekend was.

"Despite taking another dominant pole position, by a huge 0.7-second margin over his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, he still had a lot of pressure heading into Sunday. 

"Ferrari had not won a race all season and the team and both drivers were coming under more pressure for a combined error-strewn first half of the season. With that backdrop heading into the Grand Prix, Leclerc did everything right.

"He got a great start and fundamentally had better pace than Vettel. That allowed him to look after his tyres better throughout the race and gave him a buffer to the chasing Lewis Hamilton, who was the greatest threat."

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