Leclerc admits win-less streak is ‘hard to take’ as he reveals what team boss Binotto said to him after Silverstone
Charles Leclerc says the “accumulation” of difficult results across the last five races is more troubling to him than just missing out on victory at Silverstone last time out.
The Ferrari racer was leading the British Grand Prix with less than a quarter of the race to go, but ultimately slipped to fourth at the flag, as he was not pitted for fresh tyres under the late Safety Car.
After the race a clearly disappointed and frustrated Leclerc was spotted deep in conversation with Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto, who was seen waving his finger at his young driver – but Leclerc says his boss was not admonishing him.
“He was angry at me because I was too down, and so he was trying to cheer me up, [and] everybody was wondering why he was putting the finger like this but I think he was just frustrated to see me so down after such a great race,” he said.
“On the other hand, it’s obviously understandable, he understood my disappointment – leading the race and finishing fourth.
“We just have to make sure that this type of thing doesn’t happen too much in a season and for me, it’s more the accumulation in the last five races that is hard to take, because the reliability issues and the different issues that we’ve had in the last races means that I haven’t even been on the podium in the last five races, so it’s not easy.”
But the Monegasque says he has lost none of his motivation and is convinced he can still win the championship this year – and says the team is working hard to sharpen up their strategy calls.
“I am as motivated as I was before,” he said. “I’m coming into this weekend with full confidence that we can have a great weekend, and looking long-term, I still believe as much as I did [that we can win] the championships.
“I feel the support of the team. It hasn’t gone our way in the last few races but again I think internally we are working as hard as ever. To give the details outside is difficult and I don’t want to go into that but we are definitely going into absolutely everything to make our situation better.”
But Leclerc would not be drawn on whether Ferrari should sacrifice team mate Carlos Sainz’s title ambitions and throw all their weight behind him in the fight against Red Bull and Max Verstappen.
“It is not my choice to make and it’s more a question to [team boss] Mattia [Binotto],” he said.