IMOLA, Italy -- Charles Leclerc admitted he got too greedy in trying to chase down Sergio Perez for second place at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after he spun off the track with nine laps remaining.
Leclerc was running third behind the two Red Bulls when he launched his Ferrari over the kerbs at Variante Alta in pursuit of Perez. When the car landed, he lost control of the rear and slid sideways into the barriers, damaging the front wing and flatspotting the tyres.
He initially lost a single position to Lando Norris after the spin but then pitted for new tyres and a new front wing, dropping him to ninth place. He rallied back to sixth by the end of the race, but admitted he should not have made the mistake in the first place.
"It is a big shame," Leclerc said. "Whatever happened before the spin it's how it is, it's part of racing you know, but I believe that the spin should not have happened today.
"I mean P3 was the best I could do, we didn't have the pace for much more. I was too greedy and I paid the price for it and lost seven potential points compared to my third place I was before.
"It is a shame, it's seven points that are valuable at the end of the championship for sure. This shouldn't happen again."
Red Bull team boss Horner believes Leclerc was attempting to gain an advantage over Perez at the Variante Alta chicane in order to be within a second of the Red Bull at the Drag Reduction System (DRS) detection point, which would have allowed him to use his DRS overtaking aid on the pit straight on the next lap.
"He was pushing very hard all race, and you could see at the top of the hill -- at Turn 14 at the chicane -- that was the one part of the track where he was consistently quicker than Checo [Perez] and it just looked like he got a little bit too greedy on that soft tyre," Horner said. "But mistakes can happen and he was actually lucky to finish the race and still get sixth place points.
"I think he was trying to get in the DRS zone of Checo, and to do that you need to be really quick over that chicane to get into the DRS detection zone before the last couple of corners. That was obviously what he was trying to get within.
"It was a bonus for us that we could take a few more points off them with him not finishing on the podium."
Leclerc said Red Bull held a performance advantage over Ferrari at Imola but was grateful his mistake was not more costly in terms of championship points.
"For sure, they seem to be more competitive than the first three races or similar to Jeddah, we've had the upper hand in Bahrain and Australia, and they've had the upper hand in this weekend and in Jeddah," Leclerc said. "It is very, very close, and I think it will be that way for the rest of the season and that is why every small mistake... today it was a big mistake but actually the consequence considering the mistake could have been much bigger.
"It's only seven points today but it could be more the next time, so I need to be careful for that."