F1 - Historica

Back to 2012: the very first Verstappen-Leclerc clash

There are some images that will be forever printed in the memories of the fans. The clash that occured on lap 69 of the Austrian GP between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen may just be one of those. Not only because it has been a controversial move for the lead of the race, but because it may have been the starting point for one of the greatest rivalties in the history of Formula 1. But actually that hasn't been the very first clash between the two of them.

( palabras)
Back to 2012: the very first Verstappen-Leclerc clash
Fuente imagen: Motorlat Images

Let's dive back in time, more precisely in 2012. It is a raining May in Italy and a damp Val D'Argenton track is hosting the second round of the WSK Euro Series season. Among the young drivers there are two names that shine the most: the extremely talented kids Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. Around the two of them there's a fiercy atmosphere that is going to end (just for the moment) only the following year, when the Dutchman will be crowned CIK-FIA KZ champion, with the Monegasque -as a runner up- immediately behind. At that moment the paths of the two future Formula 1 stars taok different routes, only to meet again years later in the cross-road called "Spielberg's turn three".



But on the Val d'Argenton's tarmac the positions were switched. Since there's no footage of the incident we will have to rely on eye witnesses and... on the two drivers themselves, which may not fully be impartial on that.

"He's just unfair! I'm leading, he wants to pass, he pushes me, I push him back and after he pushed me off the track" Verstappen complains in the parc fermé.
What happened few minutes before is a double contact ("Just a racing incident", quoting Charles) that sent Leclerc off the track, making him lose ten positions. After a great comeback to second place, during the cool down lap the Monegasque goes once again wheel-to-wheel with Verstappen, sending the future #33 first on the grass and then in a deep puddle.

Obviously, Charles' prospective is polar-opposite. Last year in an interview indeed he stated: "Yes, he ended up on the grass but only because he got distracted while I was side-by-side with him to complain about his previous move. His kart went in such a deep puddle that only his helmet was topping out of the water. We were both disqualified that day and he was furious, but now thinking about that episode makes me laugh a lot."


Back to our days, for sure neither of the two was laughing about the bump in Austria -well, actually Max was probably giggling- but for sure fans do not only hope the episode to be a salty revenge by the Dutchman, but the first -actually second- clash of a "15-20 years battle", as Max said, between two young talents starving for the supremacy over the other.

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