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Bottas: Ferrari’s Leclerc “very tough” Formula 1 racer for his age

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(******)Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas says Charles Leclerc is a “very tough” racer given his age and complimented the (***********************)-year-old’s approach to his first year with Ferrari.(*******)(******)Leclerc won the Italian Grand Prix after a feisty drive in which he defended aggressively against Lewis Hamilton and then kept the championship leader’s team-mate Bottas at bay in the closing laps.(*******)(******)During the race, Leclerc picked up a black/white warning flag for moving under braking in his battle with Hamilton, a continuation of a more aggressive approach first seen in the British Grand Prix.(*******)(******)Asked if he was surprised by how cold Leclerc could be on track, Bottas said: “I haven’t seen anything from the race apart from what I saw in the car, so I can’t say much.(*******)(******)”I heard some talk in the press conference but I have no clue what happened (*).(*******)(******)”But for sure he’s racing hard. When you’re in the lead there’s no way you want to give it up.(*******)(******)”For a young guy he is a very tough racer, which is good to see.(*******)(******)”(**) As you should (***) when you’re a Ferrari driver.”(*******)(******)Hamilton said he had to avoid collisions with Leclerc during their battle and would have driven differently if he did not risk harming his championship prospects.(*******)(******)However, Bottas claims said he did not approach Leclerc – not in title contention and focused on winning Ferrari’s home race – any differently.(*******)(******)(********)(*********)(*******)(******)Bottas trails Hamilton by (*********************) points in the championship, having closed the gap by two points by finishing second at Monza, where he failed to launch an attack on Leclerc after moving ahead of Hamilton.(*******)(******)”I wasn’t thinking about that (****),” said Bottas.(*******)(******)”I was just thinking about the best possible result I could get.(*******)(******)”I knew about halfway through the race the win was possible; how things were going and the pace I had on the medium I thought there will be opportunities at the end of the race.(*******)(******)”It was always the plan for me to go long in the first stint and have opportunities later on.(**********)(***********)”We had those but we couldn’t make it really happen.(*******)(******)”The only thing in my mind was to maximise this race and go for the win.(*******)(******)”There’s nothing I would have done different in any other case.”(*******)

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