Leclerc spent wretched weekend dosed up on ‘big painkillers’ for tooth infection

Charles Leclerc has revealed he competed at the F1 United States Grand Prix dosed up on “big painkillers” after suffering from a tooth infection. 
ula 1 World Championship, R
ula 1 World Championship, R

The Ferrari driver’s weekend started off on a bright note as he claimed pole position on Friday, before he could only finish 12th in Saturday’s sprint race and slipped to sixth in the main grand prix. 

Leclerc was later disqualified, along with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, after their cars failed a post-race plank wear check. 

To compound what ended up being a miserable weekend for Leclerc, the Monegasque spent several days battling agonizing pain from a tooth infection. 

“I had a tooth infection, which I think is the wisdom tooth,” Leclerc explained after Sunday’s race in Austin. “So, I was quite a lot in pain on Thursday, Friday then it calmed down and today was okay.

“I’ve been on really big painkillers since Thursday. For some reason now it’s actually quite fine because I took the painkillers before the race. I’ve had times that were more intense, but nothing that affected me inside the car.”

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-23. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19, United States Grand Prix, Austin, Texas, USA,
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-23. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 19,…

Although it proved inconsequential in the end, Leclerc was left frustrated by Ferrari’s “wrong” strategy, having been the only driver to run a one-stop race. 

“Straight away from the beginning of the race we thought that the one-stop and the two-stop [strategies] were extremely close together,” he said, prior to being disqualified. 

“After 12, 13 laps I saw the numbers on the dash and they were pretty good for the one-stop, at least in terms of degradation. I wasn’t losing that much time lap after lap.

“Considering our numbers, this was the right thing to do so I went for the one-stop and unfortunately this was definitely the wrong thing to do. For some reason there was something wrong in our numbers today because we were far off the ideal race strategy.”

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