The Monegasque driver led a Ferrari 1-2 from team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr after Verstappen suffered a gasoline system failure together with his Purple Bull that forced him to retire from the race late on, having fought with Leclerc for the victory earlier within the race.
The pair traded overtakes for the lead on three consecutive laps in the course of the opening stint, Verstappen getting forward with assistance from DRS at Flip 1 earlier than Leclerc charged again forward within the run to Flip four.
In the course of the post-race press convention, Leclerc defined how he made positive to maintain in DRS vary by braking early at Flip 1, thereby making certain if Verstappen did get forward then he may immediately battle again on the next straight.
The tactic finally allowed Leclerc to additionally break from Verstappen when the Dutchman locked up and ran large in an unsuccessful passing transfer at Flip 1, permitting the Ferrari driver to remain forward and push on with DRS to construct up his lead.
“I solely adopted into Flip 2, as I used to be solely behind for one nook after which would overtake Max again into Flip four, it was tough nevertheless it was good although,” Leclerc stated after securing Ferrari’s first F1 win because the 2019 Singapore GP.
“It was on the restrict, arduous racing however we’ll all the time gave one another area which was good.
“Following him into Flip 2 was a bit extra predictable than what I anticipated or what I had final yr so this was good nevertheless it was all the time very shut.
“I might all the time attempt to brake very early into Flip 1 to get the DRS for Flip four and it labored out 3 times in a row so then I may maintain my lead.
“It was additionally very tough as a result of I used to be struggling quite a bit with my power and needed to handle that too however then after the third lap [of overtaking] I used to be in a greater window with it and will push once more to have a little bit of margin to handle my race.”
Leclerc finally got here out on prime in his battle with Verstappen, who later retired
Picture by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
Leclerc was additionally in a position to preserve a niche to Verstappen in the course of the pitstop cycles, with Purple Bull twice trying the undercut to attempt to get the reigning F1 world champion in entrance as soon as Leclerc pitted.
When requested for his ideas on battling Leclerc, Verstappen stated: “It was alright, I feel general I didn’t have an ideal stability to assault however I had two makes an attempt or extra much less with the DRS.
“It was enjoyable, I had a great battle with Charles.”
He later added: “Charles is an effective racer as nicely so it was good enjoyable on the market.”
Adam Cooper additionally contributed to this report