Charles Leclerc admits he needs to ‘choose his fights better’ after another opening lap collision in the Sakhir F1 Grand Prix.

Leclerc was handed a three-place grid penalty for this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after he spun Sergio Perez around on Lap 1 in Sakhir and forced Max Verstappen to take evasive action, where the Dutchman ultimately ended the race in the barrier.

Reflecting on the events of the opening lap, Leclerc concedes he should have taken more care in Sakhir as he wasn’t fighting Verstappen given Red Bull’s pace advantage.

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“Well, I think I didn’t give much choice to the stewards, basically, because by not finishing the race I think I had to get a penalty somehow and the only thing that was possible for them is to penalise me for the next race,” Leclerc said. 

“It’s the way it is and it’s like this. I think I’ve gained a lot in some of the races on the first lap which helped me to gain a lot of points this year, and it happens that sometimes it just doesn’t go my way, which it didn’t last weekend and it didn’t in Austria at the beginning of the year.

“But in the end I’ve also gained a lot of points with that and I’ll try to choose the fights better because obviously gaining a position against Max was not going to bring us anywhere in a better position because Max was quicker than us anyway. But anyway, it’s like this and I will learn from it.”

A compressed 2020 season due to the coronavirus outbreak at the start of the year has meant F1 has had 17 races in 23 weeks.

While Leclerc isn't feeling the effects physically, he says he has felt the mental impact this season.

“Yeah I think on my side physically after a race you feel a bit tired but already from the Monday I was feeling ready to get in the car again, but I think it’s more mentally where race after race you want to achieve better,” Leclerc added.

“ You’re under a bit of pressure too, so mentally it gets tiring at the end of the season. Also to spend quite a lot of time away from home, so on my side more mentally that it’s difficult and it’s probably even more difficult for the mechanics that are coming to the track a lot earlier than we do and that leave the track a lot later than we do. So it’s been a tiring season on that front.”