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Leclerc saw Verstappen run away quickly: 'Then came the frustrating part'

Leclerc saw Verstappen run away quickly: 'Then came the frustrating part'

01-12-2022 08:47 Last update: 09:24


Charles Leclerc continued to believe in a 2022 world title for a long time, but ultimately had to leave it to Max Verstappen. The Monegasque balks at mistakes made during the season and is very critical of himself and Ferrari.

For Ferrari and Leclerc, the 2022 F1 season could hardly have started better. Of the first three races, Leclerc won two, also finishing second in that other race. There finally seemed hope for a world title again, but in the end Red Bull Racing and Verstappen are left with both titles in their hands.

Ferrari disappoints.

''I believed in it until late in the season. You have to do that. In the first few races they had a couple of upgrades that put them a little ahead of us. The frustrating part came when we got an upgrade and had the fastest car. The new parts in Barcelona have really pushed us forward. We made too little out of it. The engine broke down in Barcelona. In Monaco we made a mistake in strategy. The next engine failure came in Baku. Then the engine penalty in Canada,'' Leclerc said opposite Auto, Motor und Sport.

So at a time when Ferrari was actually very strong, the points were not scored. ''It went downhill. The pace was there to win races, but we didn't deliver. That was hard to accept.''

Leclerc himself did not remain faultless either. At the lead of the French Grand Prix, he slid off the track due to a mistake of his own, handing victory to Verstappen. The Dutchman himself saw this as a turning point in the season. Leclerc kept his jaws together outwardly, but is internally critical of the team.

Replacement for Binotto

''Yes, we are self-critical. And I'm part of it. I'm very critical within the team. I am not a driver who criticizes sharply in public. But in internal meetings I drive my team forward. Thats my job. If I make mistakes, I address them. If the team makes mistakes, they have to be on the table. I have to be allowed to say what I think,'' Leclerc concludes.

From 2023, though, that will have to be in partnership with another team boss, as Mattia Binotto has announced his departure from Ferrari. There were rumours that Leclerc and his team boss had not spoken to each other for months due to disappointing results, but both parties deny this. Frederic Vasseur is said to be in the picture as Binotto's replacement, bringing an acquaintance of Leclerc's to the team. Indeed, the two had previously worked successfully together at Sauber.