'I'm losing too many points' says Leclerc as he takes blame for 'unacceptable' mistake that cost him lead in France
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc cut a demoralised figure after his French Grand Prix spin, which saw him crash out of the lead at Circuit Paul Ricard on Sunday.
Leclerc had taken pole position and led until his Lap 18 crash at Turn 11, a snap of oversteer sending him hurtling into the barriers. Though he emerged unhurt, he screamed out in frustration over the radio. And after the race he admitted it was his own error that had cost him.
“I think it’s just a mistake. Tried to take too much around the outside, put a wheel probably somewhere dirty, but it’s my fault and if I keep doing mistakes like this then I deserve not to win the championship,” he said.
“I’m losing too many points, I think seven in Imola, 25 here because honestly we were the strongest car on track today,” he added to Sky Sports F1. “So yes, if we lose the championship by 32 points at the end of the season, I will know from where they are coming from. And it’s unacceptable, I just need to get on top of those things.”
The Monegasque was far from making excuses, but explained that he found the Ferrari hard to get to grips with over the French Grand Prix weekend.
“I was thinking too much and I lost the rear. It’s been a very difficult weekend for me, I struggled a lot with the balance of the car, I like oversteery cars, but when it’s warm like this it’s very difficult to be consistent and I made a mistake at the wrong moment.
“I go through the same process all the time, try to analyse – the snap was a bit of a weird one, so I’ll look into the data and try to understand if there’s something that I don’t know yet. For me it’s a mistake and that’s it.”
Leclerc now faces a 63-point deficit in the drivers’ standings to leader Max Verstappen, who cruised to the race victory for Red Bull over Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, as the field now heads to Hungary.