Charles Leclerc isn’t blaming Lance Stroll for Australia incident

Charles Leclerc has retired from two out of three of the opening races so far this season.

Charles Leclerc is the driver with zero luck currently, as the Monegasque’s 2023 F1 season went from bad to worse on the opening lap of the Australian Grand Prix.

12 months on from claiming victory at the Albert Park Circuit, Leclerc was hoping to make some good ground during Sunday’s race after only managing seventh in qualifying.

The 25-year-old did actually get a good launch off the line and found himself right behind Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and to the side of Lance Stroll on the rundown to Turn Three.

Leclerc tried to go around the outside of both; however, Alonso was forced to brake hard which left Stroll stuck in the middle, with the Canadian having unfortunately tagged Leclerc’s right rear.

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The collision sent Leclerc into the gravel where he became beached, ending his race.

It means Leclerc has now suffered two retirements from the opening three races, with the Ferrari star labelling his campaign currently as a “disaster”.

“It shouldn’t happen so often,” Leclerc told Canal+.

“In three races, we haven’t had a good start to the season. It has just (been) a disaster.

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“When we were third in Bahrain, we broke the ‘control unit (electronics)’, the penalty in Jeddah and now another retirement, so it’s really not the start of the season I was hoping for.”

No penalty was awarded for the collision with it having simply been a racing incident, something Leclerc seemingly agrees with.

Despite it being just a racing incident, though, the Monegasque admitted that his retirement still “hurts” nevertheless.

“Quite honestly, at the first corner I tried to watch out for Lance because I knew he might open up a little bit on the exit, which I would have done too. So I stayed where I was,” Leclerc recalled.

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“Then, at turn three, I saw that Lance was blocked by Fernando, so he braked a bit early.

“I saw some space on the left, (so) I went for it, and unfortunately at the end of the braking zone, Lance found himself between Fernando who had to slow down for the cars in front with his front wing. So he couldn’t turn as I imagined and unfortunately we had contact.

“The result is that we don’t get a point, so it hurts.”