Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Imola, 2022

Leclerc says crash which cost him podium finish wasn’t due to “pressure”

2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc dismissed suggestions he succumbed to pressure when he spun into a barrier while chasing Sergio Perez during the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver finished sixth after he damaged his car at the Variante Alta on lap 53. He arrived at his team’s home race with a 34-point lead in the championship but was already on course to lose ground to Max Verstappen when he went off.

However Leclerc doesn’t believe the pressure of the situation affected his driving. “Obviously, we’ve had pressure not only today but for the whole weekend and I don’t think I’ve done many mistakes before today,” he said.

“It was the mistake that cost me a lot and I’ll learn from it, but no, on my side there was no particular added pressure whatsoever.”

Leclerc went off after making an extra pit stop for a fresh set of tyres. He believed that gave him a chance to move up from third position.

“I saw the opportunity that before I didn’t think was there,” he said. “It was very clear to me that that today was the third place and that was what was possible. But I saw the opportunity and I still tried it. I went a bit quicker in turn 14-15, took too much kerb and spun.

Race start, Imola, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in pictures
“All points count and today I’ve put away seven points, against the 15 that we had if we were finishing third. So every points are important. I will learn from this for the future. It’s the way it is now, I’ve analysed the data, I know what I’ve done and I’ll move on.”

“I don’t think I was taking particularly more risk,” Leclerc added.

The Variante Alta chicane was a key point on the lap where the Ferrari could gain on the Red Bull, he explained.

“I was quick there and the car felt good there. Especially in the race today I felt like it was probably one of the corners where Checo was a bit less competitive than me.

“Obviously on that lap, I knew that there was an opportunity, so I tried to push a bit more and it was too much. But apart from that, I don’t think I’ve taken any unnecessary risk on the other laps during the weekend or whatsoever, everything was okay on that side.”

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2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    13 comments on “Leclerc says crash which cost him podium finish wasn’t due to “pressure””

    1. If anything this was the opposite of pressure, he was driving like he had nothing to lose, which with hindsight was unwise. I think Charles needs to accept that Red Bull are going to have the better car at some races this year and just play the long game.

      1. Charles is since his carreer started always a bit impatient. i.e. he made several impatient mistakes in his home turf Monaco, last year during quali and the year before that ripping of he right rear by wanting to correct his earlier mistakes.. Baku etc etc..
        I had the impression this year he was much better in control. Maybe originating form his strong car. Now there is more pressure he starts to show his impatience again.
        But its a long season, so we will see how things progress.

        1. He’s never been particularly exceptional when not on pole imo. I have always found this Ferrari driver pairing to be rather mediocre. For a mistake like yesterday, Vettel would have had brickbats thrown his way.

          1. Yeah because Vettel is in his 1st year in a Championship leading car

            1. The championship is not going to be determined by how many years a particular driver has had in a top car. An unforced error is an unforced error, pure and simple.

    2. Funny last year the main rival of VER HAM got into the gravel and managed to rejoin the race this year the same happens with LEC while pushing to hard

    3. Pushing too hard is technically a pressure issue, so…

      1. He made a mistake not due pressure but he thought he could get second a bit greedy nothing more.

        1. But such ‘greed’ is nothing else than putting ‘pressure’ on himself :P

      2. Not really, didn’t Hamilton bin it in qualifying at Brazil 2017 when he’d already won the championship

        1. True, I remember well, was a good recovery drive too, ended up like 6 sec behind the lead in 4th place without SC starting from the pit lane, so he was very likely the fastest man on track.

    4. …the reality is that Checo escaped too quickly, Charles panicked and reached the Variante Alta too quickly, and that was it for ChL, Checo again looked strong mentally and took that RB18 with good hands, scoring good points this weekend.
      Sad weekend for Ferrari and a lot of points for RBR, the championship is getting better every day.

    5. Reminded me of Sato at 2004 in Montreal at the end of a qualifying lap. Variante Alta is a corner that tempts you into taking a lot of speed.

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