Leclerc’s faith in Ferrari unshaken despite “third disappointment in a row”

2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc says he still has confidence in Ferrari and belief in his championship chances despite retiring from the lead for the second time in three races yesterday.

Having lost the lead from pole position, Leclerc moved back to the front by pitting during a Virtual Safety Car period. But he was only in the lead for a single lap before a power unit problem struck.

He also retired from the lead in Spain two races earlier. He led the following round in Monaco too but fell to fourth at the finish following questionable strategic choices by his team.

Reacting to his latest retirement, Leclerc said: “Any DNF is hard. Obviously now is not the third in a row but, to be honest, Monaco felt like a DNF. So it’s the third disappointment in a row and it’s not easy.”

Five races ago, Leclerc held a 34-point lead in the championship with 46 in hand over Max Verstappen. The Red Bull driver now leads the standings with Leclerc 34 adrift.

“Overall, I’m confident that mentally I will be as strong as I was five races ago when I was leading the championship at the next race,” Leclerc continued. “The motivation is still there.”

Race start, Baku Street Circuit, 2022
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However, he made it clear Ferrari must solve the reliability problems which have caused three retirements in the last three races for himself and team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr.

“We need to get on top of those things and obviously reliability is something that we need to look into after the last three races. So as a team, we need maybe to do a step on that.”

“I believe we can win the championship still but we need to be on top of those things,” he added. “After the last three races I think we’ve shown that we’ve lost too many points and we need to look into this.”

Asked whether the problems affected his confidence in the team, Leclerc answered: “No, it doesn’t.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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13 comments on “Leclerc’s faith in Ferrari unshaken despite “third disappointment in a row””

  1. Sadly, I do not share Charles’ optimism.

    Ferrari have consistently shown over the years that they will throw away any advantage that they have at the beginning of a season through a combination of poor strategy and unreliability.

    I can see Mercedes catching them in the Constructors Championship too.

  2. petebaldwin (@)
    13th June 2022, 12:26

    He’s right to be confident (maybe not in Ferrari but certainly in himself). He’s driving really well and needs to just keep putting in excellent performances as he has been doing. Hopefully Ferrari can sort out their reliability issues and he’ll start getting the points his performances deserve.

    1. Untill he hears he is getting a 10 place penaulty if they can’t use a old turbo…..

  3. Arjuna Rana Tunga
    13th June 2022, 12:34

    I hope he doesn’t end up like Felipe Massa, worthy to be a champion yet didn’t get one due to other factors.

    Yeah he has miles to go , but rarely does a talented driver end up in a team with a capable car.

    Ferrari are capable , but they need to get that trust back from Leclerc by performing on the hardware side.

    Leclerc isn’t negative at the moment since he doesn’t want to demotivate the Team.

    1. Well, there’s a massive difference in talent between leclerc and massa: massa was as good as a number 2 driver, while you could compare leclerc’s speed with schumacher’s.

    2. But true, if the car isn’t there, also reliability wise, you can’t win a championship, as we can see with alonso after he left mclaren the first time.

  4. Ferrari did well strategy wise yesterday and as far as DNF’s are concerned both teams faced that issue. There is still a WCC and WDC coming from them. So Charles is right to show faith.

  5. After Melbourne I was a bit doubtful but now I’m not, this is the ferrari I know, I share Leclerc’s optimism, ferrari can certainly keep this up.

    1. Funny, I agree with just about everything you write there @peartree. Off course they can keep THIS form up. But just not the form needed to really be the team to beat …

      1. @bascb hey, someone gets it, have a cookie.

  6. Well, we all have seen that strong conviction of faith can overcome hard evidence. But it still won’t become reality unless Ferrari and Charles make work from it, and are helped with a bit of issues at their rivals.

    I rather believe (going on the experience of watching Ferrari try and have their “this is our year” moment at the start of many seasons, only for it to dwindle sooner or later depending on how the season unfolds) that ultimately they will end up fighting Mercedes for second in the constructors championship.

    They haven’t been able to get their strategy right for both cars for decades now. And they have often been fast at moments, but never been able to string together consistent results, either through lack of speed, lack of determination and savy race strategy, through reliability issues or drivers messing up.

    I really would like to see Ferrari make it a decent effort (exchanging Mercedes dominance for another bout of Red Bull dominance is not really an improvement). But realistically, it is a stretch as much as it was in 2019.

  7. Last year before Silverstone Max had a 32+lead in the championship so Lec is right that the WDC is still possible. I’m sure there will be more exciting races this season.

    1. I don’t tend to be so optimist, since recovering points is hard unless the opposition DNFs given verstappen will most likely outperform perez and sainz almost every race if the cars are evenly matched, however leclerc didn’t exactly get other seasons with a very good car, 2019 had some speed, but mostly in quali and had reliability issues too, so if that isn’t possible can at least go for a few wins, since the pace is there most of the times.

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