Leclerc claimed pole position for Sunday’s pole position at the Circuit of the Americas after Verstappen’s lap - which was faster by 0.005s - was deleted for track limits.
Like in Qatar, track limits were a key factor in qualifying with a number of drivers running outside the white lines.
After setting his pole time, Leclerc’s engineer, Xavier Padros, informed him that Verstappen’s lap was deleted.
It seemed to confuse Leclerc, who thought initially that Padros was telling him his lap was invalidated.
The team radio exchange:
Padros: “So lap time deleted for Verstappen.”
Leclerc: “For fu**s sake, tell me the name before.”
Padros: “Verstappen lap time deleted.”
Leclerc: “Yeah, well I had a heart attack in the meantime.”
Speaking in the post-qualifying press conference, Leclerc shed light on his amusing exchange with his race engineer.
“I just had a heart attack because my engineer told me ‘track limits’ and then for Verstappen, and when I heard track limits I punched the steering wheel and my helmet but I heard for Verstappen and was like OK, that’s better news for us,” he said.
“That’s why in the moment I just said to Xavi just tell me the name before track limits so just I don’t get too excited.”