Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Paul Ricard, 2022

“I need to not put cars in the wall” says Leclerc after race-losing crash

2022 French Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc took responsibility for the crash which put him out of the French Grand Prix while he was leading.

The Ferrari driver crashed out of the French Grand Prix on the 18th lap of the race, having led all the way since the start. He spun off at the exit of the double right-hander Beausset.

He was heard shouting on his radio in frustration after his crash. “I didn’t know I left my radio on,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans afterwards. “But obviously it’s extremely frustrating.

“I feel like I’m performing at probably the highest level of my career since the beginning of the season. But there’s no point of performing at a very high level if then I do those mistakes.”

Leclerc said he will count the cost of his driving errors at the end of the season. “I think there are 32 points in overall – 25 today, I think it was likely that we were going to win this race because we were fast, and seven in Imola with my mistake.

“So at the end of the year we will count back and if there are 32 points missing then I know it’s coming from me and I did not deserve to win the championship. But for the second half of the season I need to get on top of those things if I want to be a world championship.”

After spinning through the asphalt run-off, Leclerc went nose-first into a barrier at the exit of the corner. He told his race engineer Xavier Marcos Padros he was having difficulty releasing the throttle.

However he confirmed afterwards he had not experienced a repeat of the throttle problem he encountered in Austria.

“No, it’s been a very tricky balance all weekend. I like to have oversteer but whenever there is heat it makes it very difficult to be consistent. I have not been very consistent and I paid the price of doing one big mistake during the race.”

He tried unsuccessfully to extract his car from the barrier after his crash. “I couldn’t reverse which was a shame because then I saw the car and the car was actually not too damaged. We could still run.

“But this is a detail. First of all I need to not put cars in the wall and then they should work better.”

Leclerc’s radio messages after his crash

Marcos PadrosAre you okay?
LeclercI cannot go off throttle
Marcos PadrosEight-second pause
Now it’s zero percent.

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    45 comments on ““I need to not put cars in the wall” says Leclerc after race-losing crash”

    1. I thought the #1 rule when driving F1 cars is to not crash them?

      1. yeah. its one thing to make mistakes, as we saw with Hamilton, but you need take those spins when they happen and still break the car home. That drive into the wall was avoidable, never mind the spin, that crash was avoidable and Leclerc knows it.

        1. ** bring the car home

    2. The championship is effectively over.

      1. Ferrari is just a team adrift. They have no shot of winning even though they have the fastest cars. Just a shame for us race fans.

      2. Correct. Driver errors. Poor team tactics. Unreliability. All have sunk Ferrari in 2022

        1. Reliability has been no worse than red bull so far. Leclerc indeed is still making mistakes, which verstappen stopped long ago and team tactics yes, always a ferrari weakness.

          1. @esploratore1 I don’t really agree. Ferrari’s reliability issues are far worse. For Red Bull so far it’s mostly been a few relatively minor and easily fixable glitches.
            Ferrari seem to have more deep-rooted issues related to the PU. Less easy to fix and with knock-on effects in the form of grid penalties which they already had to take and they will certainly have to take more.

      3. @jerejj

        Really man.. Ever since Alonso left their team, we’ve seen Ferrari throw away championship challenges even though they have the equipment, and apparently, have the driver. This almost feels like 2018 all over again.. Where they’ve had the fastest car, but a combination of driver error, mechanical failures and poor strategy will kill all hopes before it even gets to the last few races.

        1. Guess we’ll have to count the points in the end, for now I think it takes the strategy mistakes + driver errors to make up the lost points.

      4. It’s been over for a while. Adrian Newey builds exceptional cars and RB are ruthless with tactics and make few mistakes.

        Ferrari might have built a car that’s in the mix, but this year at leat they don’t have what it takes as a team. It’s a shame. I think everyone would love Ferrari to come out on top.

      5. I agree. It is close to a moment in which podium finishes are enough to Verstappen. It is a 63 point advantage with 10 races remaining. It is definitely in the manageable territory. I mean, VER only needs to fight for the 1st only when RB is clearly faster, otherwise just avoid DNFs.
        A superior Ferrari package after July would mean nothing unless it pushed for a series of 1-2 Ferrari finishes. Otherwise, in a optimist scenario of LEC 1st, VER 2nd, it would take at least 7 races to LEC get ahead of VER – if one considers taking 8 points from VER every race. So, if VER secures a 2nd in every race, he only needs to properly beat VER in 3 or 4 races and that if we see a 6-7 win streak from LEC.
        In the end, for VER to lose this championship, it would be required a perfect 10-race run from Ferrari, a horrible RB end of the year, and even a Mercedes improvement that wouldnt make a 3rd place finish almost certainty for VER. So, it is over.

        1. You never know… Verstappen hasn’t had anyone put enough preassure on him to force him into making mistakes.
          If Ferrari can some how do that, they might get him to DNF. As we’ve seen Verstappen under preassure is a different driver.

          1. Verstappen never DNF’s when under pressure. Ever since 2020. That’s the difference. He either wins or is P2 99% of the time.

            Even in 2021, when under enormous pressure (and some erratic driving), he still finished P2.

            He’s that good.

          2. Max handles pressure extremely well and has the experience from last year that Charles obviously is lacking when it comes to handling pressure when it is at it’s greatest.

          3. Verstappen has made a big step. I don’t think anyone could put pressure on him. If he feels he has to, he’ll take it right to the line of what is considered okay, but he’s definitely learned to think long term. He’s just super solid. As the old saying goes, it’s how you do on the bad weekends that win you the championship. Verstappen’s bad weekends usually end in P2 anyway, and even with big issues like in Silverstone he still keeps it together and takes a solid amount of points with him.

            He and Hamilton are a significant step above the rest of the field in that regard.

    3. Spot on from Charles. Cars shouldn’t get into walls. And nails shouldnt get on to tracks or roads.

    4. He is funny. Ferrari has zero chance to win the WCC or WDC.
      The only driver who is going to win the next championships is Verstappen. Until the next rules reshuffle, no other driver has the chance. Not only because their cars are bad compared to Red Bull, but also because all other drivers aren’t as good as Verstappen.

      1. It almost hurts me to agree with you.. But I can’t argue with the fact that no driver is as good as Verstappen. Leclerc might have Verstappens speed, but lacks the composure and mental edge. Lewis might have the composure and mental edge, but lacks that little but of pace magic that Verstappen does. Russell might emerge as a worthy competitor, but only with a bit more experience.

        1. Yes, verstappen makes no mistakes and that is worth a lot of points; the car however is up there performance wise.

          1. @esploratore1 Being fair on Verstappen, this season he hasn’t really put a foot wrong. Whilst he has had a couple of DNF’s, these were mechanical failures rather than him getting involved in any incident.

            Both Ferrari drivers have either crashed or had mechanical failures (although no more than RBR at this stage). I still stand that Ferrari are running there pu at full power and suspect that we will see further reliability issues from Ferrari later in the season.

        2. Disagree completely, Hamilton is still the best driver on the grid. He still has everything, Max is beginning to see more of what Mercedes and Hamilton have achieved and will do the necessary to ensure he remains on top.

          1. Nah, Hamilton has done more mistakes than Max since last year. And HAM is slower than Max on raw pace (age factor).

            So Max is clear no.1. HAM was until 2019.

          2. Hamilton has been more erratic than Verstappen for a while, making more mistakes and picking poor fights – especially with Verstappen – for odd reasons in races where he didn’t have to. Hamilton is still an excellent driver, and I’d put him in Verstappen ahead of the field by some margin – but he’s not been at his best for a while now.

          3. @icarby

            No m8, Hamilton isn’t the best driver on the grid anymore. Ffcourse he still is in this top tier of drivers and probably the GOAT at this moment, but Verstappen in this form (basically since Monaco 2019) is the best driver on the grid. This young man is only 24 years young, this year probably a 2 time WDC and still learning to get better. I wish Hamilton could have raced Verstappen in this form in the same car. That would have been something.

            Leclerc on the other hand has the speed to compare himself with Lewis and Max, and certainly has the car for it….but still lacks consistency and mental strength to challenge Lewis or Max.

            1. Max
            2. Lewis
            3. Charles

        3. Sorry. I actually want Leclerc to win after what happened last year, but I don’t see him winning. This race was his chance to show that Ferrari still got it. And he failed.

          I don’t remember Alonso doing anything like that when he was at their age. In 2006 Alonso was impeccable and fought off the best driver of those times.

        4. I think Charles is on Verstappen‘s level but just doesn’t have the experience. And Charles has had a lot of bad luck this year either from and it’s failing or terrible strategy. It’s not like he is being blown out of the water by Max.
          Maybe he is out of the picture this year but if Red can provide him with another speedy and reliable car, I think he and Verstappen will be dueling it out for years to come. Of course Russell or Lando could be on their level also but it’s hard to tell as they don’t have equal equipment with Charles and Max.

      2. Safely asumed in the light of current situation. I wouldn’t underestimate Mercedes’ potential, and Russell is in my opinion better than Verstappen.

        1. Verstappen has the most raw pace and although he was the most consistent last year, he now has the maturity to go with it this year too. For me, Hamilton is the only driver who is close to him. I think this year will change Leclerc for the better and make him more consistent in the long run.

        2. I am one of the biggest fans of Russell, but he doesn’t impress me in the latest races. There seems to be a slump in his competitiveness over the last races, starting with his strange decision in Canada (in quali). He is losing to Hamilton, and I believe he is going to lose.
          In his F2 season, he was perfect and reminded me of Alonso: no mistakes for no reason, good pace, not the fastest car, smart decisions during the races. But in F1, pressure gets to him. Maybe, he needs another season to polish his skills.
          For example, he didn’t handle well the fight with Perez two races in a row. Especially in this race, where Hamilton has shown much better pace.

    5. Well I guess he’s not wrong! These mistakes in combo with self destructing engines is not a great combo for a championship challenge. Still time to turn it around but it’ll be tough from here! Charlie needs to go full Vettel 2013 in the second half of this season…

    6. 71st race of Seb’s Ferrari career – German grand prix 2018 where he made an unforced error and never recovered.

      72nd race of Leclerc’s Ferrari career – French Grand Prix 2022.

      History repeats?

      1. Ha.. Surely looks like it. Can’t see Leclerc – Ferrari lasting for long

        1. Leclerc is a lot mentally stronger than Vettel though. Leclerc has had some epic bounce backs. Like in GP2 when his father passed away, the next day, he wins at Baku. In 2019, when Hubert passed away, he instantly won in Belgium and in Monza, which to me, still stands as the race in which a driver endured the most pressure( Bottas and Hamilton Mercedes 2019).

      2. That’s not entirely fair on Vettel. He absolutely smashed it at Spa-Francorchamps in 2018, which was just after Germany. His driving became more frustrated in Monza, and arguably somewhat silly in Japan – but we shouldn’t forget that Ferrari had to pull months worth of ‘upgrades’ from their car at the stage of the season because it became apparent that they had completely misjudged it and had only made the car worse.

        Drivers who have to second guess everything the team does – from upgrades to strategy to managing the other car (Monza, also earlier in Germany) – aren’t able to focus on the driving. Or well, Schumacher might have been able to if Ross Brawn is to be believed, but pretty much everyone else can’t. Today we saw how Sainz constantly had to overrule his engineer, too. Ferrari sadly hasn’t learned a whole lot. Vettel might have been trying to pull 105% of pace out of that 2018 Ferrari, and that just doesn’t work over a whole season. You’ll inevitably get messy races and DNFs. The alternative his teammate showed wasn’t too great either: an anonymous season with a single rather ineffectual win.

        1. Also Germany 2018 was wet, chaotic race and Vettel had monster pace in the tricky conditions. True, his error was unforced, but the race was hardly straight. Today Charles had to deal with much more favorable conditions imo.

    7. Sbinallas all out again? That was disappointing.

    8. Moements like these shows us we it doesn’t make sense to compare George and Charles sometimes with Max and Lewis who are not only fast but also have nerves of steel.

    9. “So at the end of the year we will count back and if there are 32 points missing then I know it’s coming from me and I did not deserve to win the championship.

      Is he doing this calculation to also see how many points were thrown from bad strategy?

    10. It really highlights the level a team has to be at to win championships, it’s not just having a fast car, it’s everything else around it supporting, like the right strategy team, driver coaching and development strategy. Red bull have it after being pushed by Mercedes last year. Mercedes still have it despite having a slower car. This season is Ferrari learning again how to develop the full package for success after being out of contention for so long.

      1. The problem is, Ferrari is again making the same mistakes they did when they were competitive the last time around. Of course there are only so many things that go into a good F1 race, so it’d be weird if they ran into some highly unusual problems, but it seems there isn’t a good process within Ferrari for learning from their mistakes. That, ultimately, is on the team principal.

    11. Mark in Florida
      24th July 2022, 17:47

      I think some people are over reading into Charles statement. To me he’s being generous by taking the blame when really it is down to a combination of Ferrari’s poor strategies and the fragility and edginess of the car. If you go back to before the start of the race, he said they were running a lot of downforce. The downside he stated was that when the car did let go it did so suddenly with no warning. High track temps and a relatively slick surface is not conducive to a car that want to swap ends violently. Ferrari seemingly can’t find a nice neutral balance with this car. Its a all or nothing setup just like their ridiculous race strategies. Mattias interview at the end of the race was basically, no we planned it that way we are never wrong etc. To me they need to make some changes at Ferrari. If Mattia can’t or won’t get rid of some of the ones making these poor calls, then he needs to go as well. Team management has trashed their season, sometimes even a great driver can’t can’t overcome endemic incompetence.

      1. They looks the most planted in corners, almost like on rails if anything its the RedBull which needs to be driven on knife’s edge which clearly is visible in the difference of pace between Max and Checo.

      2. I just find it highly suspicious that when he crashed he was screaming about an issue with the throttle, yet after he’s got back to the pits, been isolated from the press, it has changed to it was my fault… smells like Ferrari changing the narrative to cover up issues to me! :-0

    12. “You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice”

      – B. Marley

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