Charles Leclerc says a new lenient approach from Formula 1’s stewards in recent races will enable him to continue being aggressive in wheel-to-wheel combat for the rest of the season.

Leclerc and Max Verstappen battled hard for victory at the Austrian Grand Prix, with the Red Bull driver pulling off a punchy late overtake to snatch victory, running Leclerc wide in the process.

The Ferrari driver admitted the stewards' decision not to penalise Verstappen in Spielberg prompted him to take a more aggressive stance into wheel-to-wheel fights. The pair took part in another thrilling scrap during the first half of the British Grand Prix.

“I think Austria was an eye-opener,” Leclerc explained. “I think I’ve understood that the stewards are letting it go a little bit more, which is nice.

“I think it’s good for drivers, it’s good for the show and that’s what we all want. I’ve adapted to this in the last race and my target is to stay on this level of aggressiveness for the rest of the season.

“I think the track [Silverstone] is quite a good one to overtake and for fighting in general. Overall, by fighting I knew I was also losing some time.

“I think their pace during the race was very quick, quicker than ours so they managed to stay behind but yeah, it was a good situation at least for the spectators and to watch the race on TV.

“In the car it was a little bit more intense but was good to have a battle like this.”

Leclerc said he has no issues with Verstappen’s aggressive approach to racing as long as the stewards make the limits clear to the drivers.

“He has always been aggressive, which again as I’ve said, I’m pretty happy to race that way,” he added.

“I’m very happy to race like that it just needs to be clear for us drivers. And it has been the case in the last two races. He is very aggressive but we can all be like that if it is clear we can be driving that way.”

Asked if he feels he will need to be more aggressive than Verstappen in order to beat him, Leclerc replied: “No not at all, just your aggressiveness with the rules there is and this is for all drivers.

“I think the strength of drivers is to adapt to every different situations and sometimes it happens like this year I think where they are just a little bit more free with banging wheels and hard racing and on these things you need to adapt.”



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