During the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc pulled off an impressive overtake on Valtteri Bottas at turn 3 to seize the third position right at the beginning of the race. Nonetheless, the Monegasque admitted not having planned the move at all.

When the lights turned out, Charles Leclerc took a good impulsion and could directly put pressure on Valtteri Bottas. At the approach of turn 3, the Finn lifted his foot and gave Leclerc an opportunity of overtaking around the outside, at which the Monegasque jumped.

This early move later revealed to be one of the main factors in Bottas’ slightly disappointing performance, as the Mercedes driver was nowhere near the two front runners at the end of the Grand Prix.

The 31-year-old had to undercut Leclerc in order to overtake him, before pitting a second time, later in the race, as Ferrari tried to cover Mercedes’ strategy by pitting only once. Unfortunately, this did not work out for the Scuderia, which still seized a very positive P4.

After the race, Leclerc revealed that his overtake on Bottas was actually not planned at all and that all he was trying to do was to find clean air when he opted for his unconventional outside line at turn 3.

“I was trying to find a different line to Valtteri because Valtteri was following Lewis. And when you are obviously behind the car, you’re losing so much downforce that I was just trying to get offline.”

“Then, as soon as I saw that I had quite a bit of grip on the outside, I just went for the overtake and it worked out pretty well.”

“It wasn’t planned. I just saw the opportunity at the time when I was in the car, and I just went for it. It seemed to work fine.”

After an impressive performance in Barcelona, Leclerc is now standing fifth in the Drivers’ Championship, only one point behind his main rival Lando Norris.

Hello there! My name is Thibault and I am a French motorsports fan. Hope you'll like my articles :)