Lewis Hamilton informed Charles Leclerc that he was anxious to avoid colliding with the Ferrari driver as they raced wheel-to-wheel into Copse in the closing moments of the British Grand Prix.
At the conclusion of the race, the two drivers engaged in a thrilling, multi-lap duel for third place. Leclerc eventually passed Hamilton on the outside of the high-speed Copse corner.
The maneuver evoked memories of Hamilton and his championship rival Max Verstappen's duel on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix last year. The collision launched the Red Bull at high speed against the wall. The race was won by Hamilton despite receiving a 10-second time penalty imposed by the stewards, who judged him primarily culpable.
In a new episode of Ferrari's behind-the-scenes YouTube series Full Access, Leclerc is shown speaking with Hamilton in the Red Bull Ring media area prior to last week's Austrian Grand Prix.
In the freshly released video, Hamilton can be heard describing the pair's struggle for third place on lap 48 of the British Grand Prix, when the Mercedes attempted to pass the Ferrari around the outside of Brooklands and then completed the pass around the outside of Luffield one corner later. Leclerc then courageously recovered the position by passing Hamilton around the outside of Copse and entering the right-hand corner at almost 300 kilometers per hour.
"I didn’t want to clip you and send you off" I thought. In the six-second clip, you can hear Hamilton instructing Leclerc.
Hamilton, speaking after the British Grand Prix, commended Leclerc's racecraft throughout the competition, stressing how he considered the battle differed from his a year ago with Verstappen.
“Charles did a great job, a great battle,” Hamilton told Sky after the race. “He’s such a sensible driver, definitely different to what I experienced last year. Copse, for example – we got through there no problem.”
Leclerc also acknowledged after the British Grand Prix that he had thought about the 2021 incident after passing Hamilton at Copse. The Ferrari driver remarked, "I had a flashback to last year as soon as I crossed the turn and looked in my rearview mirror."