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Breaking the ice and claiming his first career victory only one week prior at Spa, this weekend, Leclerc followed that up with a highly contested drive and hard fought win at Monza. Holding off the Mercs, Leclerc displayed all the characteristics required to be a Formula 1 Champion. He not only possesses enormous talent and speed - which has been clear to everyone since Bahrain - but he also possesses the ruthlessness and malice that you wouldn’t expect from the baby faced racer. This was on full display as some of the tactics used were called into question, but ultimately deemed legal by the stewards (albeit with a warning not to do it again). Great drivers have this side of cynicism and selfishness, and Leclerc showed a brilliant understanding of this by pushing the limits, but staying within the rules. Saturday in qualifying, Vettel got the worst part of a team agreement: Both drivers were supposed to help each other with wind resistance by driving in front of the other, one time each. Vettel did his part but wasn’t helped in return by Leclerc. We’ve already seen this with other great drivers in the past, Senna and Prost come to mind. Unfortunately, in Formula 1 you can’t always be a gentleman. Even Ferrari’s Principal Mattia Binotto confirmed this after Charles crossed the line. Binotto told him on the radio that he had made a perfect race on Sunday and forgave his actions from Saturday. Outside of these considerations, what Leclerc accomplished in Monza was epic. Sometimes he played rough, especially with Hamilton. For Charles it was a lesson learned after Austria where Verstappen defended himself from overtakes from him in the same way. The Stewards made clear that they will be more liberal when judging duels moving forward and the best example was their ruling on the Hamilton running off the track after trying unsuccessfully to overtake Leclerc. The good news is that the streak of beautiful races since the France GP continues and we keep having fun by watching these fantastic cars and drivers.


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