Why Charles Leclerc couldn’t fly to 2023 Dutch GP

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was unable to catch a plane to the 2023 Dutch GP.

In a surprising turn of events, Charles Leclerc embarked on a gruelling 14-hour road journey to Zandvoort for the upcoming Dutch Grand Prix due to an incapacitating ear infection that rendered flying impossible.

Following the unfortunate contraction of an ear infection, Leclerc was compelled to revise his travel plans, opting for an arduous car ride spanning over 14 hours from his residence in Monaco to Zandvoort. 

The unexpected shift in transportation was deemed necessary to ensure his participation in the highly anticipated weekend race.

Despite the unforeseen hurdle, insiders affirm that the ear infection will not deter Leclerc from showcasing his racing prowess at the Dutch Grand Prix. 

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F1 presenter Will Buxton shed light on the situation, stating, “Charles Leclerc had an ear infection as well, so he couldn’t fly here. 

“He had to drive here.” 

Buxton further revealed that Leclerc himself assured that the infection would not hinder his performance: “I asked him about it and said is it going to affect his balance or anything and he said: ‘No, I’m totally cool, I’ll be good to drive all fine. 

“But couldn’t fly, had to drive.'”

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Leclerc is the second F1 driver to grapple with an infection in the lead-up to the resumption of the racing season post the summer hiatus. 

Lance Stroll of Aston Martin also encountered a similar challenge, leading him to skip his media obligations at Zandvoort while he focuses on recovering from the infection. 

Notably, Stroll made an appearance at the paddock on Thursday sporting a bandage on his upper neck.

Providing assurance amidst concerns, Aston Martin affirmed that Stroll’s condition is stable, and he remains “fit and well and will compete this weekend.” 

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While Stroll didn’t set a time in FP1, only doing two laps, Leclerc finished the session in P16 after doing 26 laps of the dusty track.

The session was topped by Max Verstappen in a result that will surprise no one given the dominant performance from the Red Bull team this season.

Verstappen is looking to secure a third consecutive victory at the Dutch circuit, thrilling his home fans.