Charles Leclerc: the Ferrari driver vows not to change style after the French GP accident

Charles Leclerc saw his World Championship deficit against Max Verstappen increase to 63 points after crashing from the French GP; Watch the Hungarian GP live on Sky Sports this weekend, starting with free practice one at 1pm on Friday

Last updated: 29/07/22 6:12

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Charles Leclerc says he “has a long way to go”, but now “he needs to move forward” from his crash at the French Grand Prix and try to win in Hungary

Charles Leclerc says he “has a long way to go”, but now “he needs to move forward” from his crash at the French Grand Prix and try to win in Hungary

Charles Leclerc has vowed to maintain his aggressive driving style after the disastrous mistake that saw him fall off the lead at last weekend’s French GP.

Ferrari’s promising championship qualified on pole at the Paul Ricard circuit and held title rival Max Verstappen at bay in the early stages, appearing to have given himself a strong chance to win at Le Castellet.

However, while trying to maintain his lead from Verstappen before returning to the pits, Leclerc lost control of the rear and spun into the barrier, leaving the Dutchman to victory and a 63-point lead in the drivers’ championship in sight. of the Hungarian GP this weekend.

Leclerc immediately took responsibility for the “unforgivable mistake”, but team principal Mattia Binotto then rejected suggestions that the 24-year-old would be prone to mistakes.

Asked if he will change his driving style after the accident, Leclerc said: “No, I think that’s what gave me the advantage in most of the races this year.”

Leclerc fell off the lead of the French GP last weekend

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Leclerc fell off the lead of the French GP last weekend

Leclerc fell off the lead of the French GP last weekend

“At the beginning of the year, I didn’t really know how to handle the car well in some circuits, like Miami I struggled a lot in the race, but overall I feel I have improved more and more, so it’s definitely something I want to keep for sure because it has many advantages.

“The downside is that it makes the car harder to drive, but I am a racing driver and I need to be able to drive a car a little more pushy like I do, but this time I pushed a little. ‘too much on that ride and I paid the price “.

The Paul Ricard crash was not the first time an unforced rider has cost Leclerc points this season, with the Monegasque having given up seven points at the Emilia Romagna GP in April after losing control of his car while it was in second place.

Will Leclerc's retirement from leading positions in Spain, Azerbaijan and France cost him the F1 title?

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Will Leclerc’s retirement from leading positions in Spain, Azerbaijan and France cost him the F1 title?

Will Leclerc’s retirement from leading positions in Spain, Azerbaijan and France cost him the F1 title?

Despite his challenges, which included two retirements due to Ferrari engine failures, Leclerc has shown brilliant speed throughout the season and is confident of competing for his fourth win of the season at the Hungaroring.

He added: “I will focus 100% on this race and try to do the best I can. I think the best possible reaction is to win this weekend and that is exactly what I will try to do.”

“I’m ready to win the World Cup”

Ferrari, the sport’s most famous and successful builder, is in the midst of an unusually long championship of drought, with their latest titles coming when Kimi Raikkonen triumphed in 2007.

Leclerc has been named by many as the driver to end that winning streak, but his mistake in France has led to a debate over whether he has reached the level required to outdo a rival of Verstappen’s qualities.

Anthony Davidson analyzes Leclerc's crash at the French GP when the Ferrari driver dramatically went off track on Sunday

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Anthony Davidson analyzes Leclerc’s crash at the French GP when the Ferrari driver dramatically went off track on Sunday

Anthony Davidson analyzes Leclerc’s crash at the French GP when the Ferrari driver dramatically went off track on Sunday

“I feel I am ready,” Leclerc said.

“If I look specifically at the first part of the season, I think it was my strongest season in Formula 1. I think that especially in the races I have made another step forward, which is positive.

“Mistakes like last weekend’s show I still have a long way to go but I’m getting there and I know how much I’m worth. In moments like last Sunday, everyone puts you down and it’s not easy but it’s okay, it’s part of the job.

“Now I just have to focus on myself, grow from that and show everyone how much I’m worth.”

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