German Grand Prix – Charles Leclerc has criticised the quality of the tarmac run-off areas at the Hockenheimring after crashing out of the chaotic German Grand Prix.
After starting the race from tenth on the grid, Charles Leclerc progressed into podium and race-win contention when he profited from a ‘cheap’ pit stop under an early virtual safety car to run in fourth place.
After being one of the first to pit for slicks, the Monegasque driver was eliminated from the race when he lost the rear of the car in between the final two corners.
A correction prevented a full spin, but the low-grip conditions of the tarmac – normally used by drag cars – meant Leclerc was powerless to avoid the barriers.
Speaking after the race, Leclerc cut a remorseful figure, and apologised for crashing out of the race.
“It’s been crazy. It was a big mistake on my side. I’m really sorry for the team and for the fans,” said Leclerc.
“Overall I think it was a great race until the mistake, but one mistake is enough to be out of the race and that was completely my fault.
“I need to understand what happened but, looking back at the mistake, the conditions were tricky.”
Leclerc went to say that he wasn’t helped by reduced grip on the tarmac run-off areas, and believed that it wasn’t an acceptable standard for a Formula 1 circuit.
“I wasn’t convinced by the tarmac that was at the last two corners. This was in no way an excuse of my mistake, and I take the full responsibility for it, but we are in Formula 1 and this type of tarmac is just unacceptable for me.
“It’s not like I went stupidly quick out of the track, it was just a small snap [of oversteer] and I had to take it back, but I couldn’t [recover] when I arrived on the drag strip tarmac.”