Charles Leclerc can be forgiven for thinking exactly what he did to get his skills back so skilfully in Saturday’s Formula One World Cup qualifier.
Everything was looking good after his second win of the season in Australia in April – he was 46 points ahead of world champion Max Verstappen in the drivers’ title race and at the wheel of a car that was clearly a decent performer.
Yet the fast forward two months, four poles, two DNFs, and 40 points are negligible returns that ended with Melbourne’s qualifying master and Melbourne now holding him to third place in the championship, 34 points away from the Red Bull’s Verstapen.
He, teammate Carlos Senz and Ferrari are preparing for another autopsy after the latest crash on Sunday, just as they were held after Monaco or Spain.
Leclerc seemed happy with the results of Monaco’s review of how he was eliminated from the pole to win which is on a track where it is so difficult to overtake.
But here he was again in Baku, another late Sunday afternoon and another failure when he got into power unit problems with smoke coming out of the back of his car at 20 laps.
It hurts again. But I will never give up. pic.twitter.com/JvTjR09Lm9
– Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclarc) June 12, 2022
Sainz retired from Lap Nine with a hydraulic problem creating a painful double DNF.
Asked if the latest push was significant for the championship, he replied in the third leg: “It’s more than a significance. I don’t have the words to tell the truth.
“It’s just a huge disappointment and I hope we can get back out of it and stay on top of those things.”
“Another DNF – it hurts … we really need to see it happen again.”
Matthias Binotto, president of the Ferrari team, told Sky Sports: “We are not completely reliable but the team will stay focused, try to solve problems and be stronger in the future.
“We need to understand what happened today. Not all problems are the same. It will take time to analyze. We don’t know yet. “
Just seven days away in Montreal with the eye round of the championship is not a luxury for Ferrari as it seeks solutions to save the fast-paced season.
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