With six victories this season, Max Verstappen is gradually pulling away in the Formula 1 World Championship. The 2022 season had started so promisingly for Ferrari and Charles Leclerc.
The Monegasque was at times 46 points ahead of Verstappen, but in the past six race weekends Leclerc has lost 95 points to the Dutchman, so that he himself now has a large deficit of 49 points on the championship lead.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is also critical of this development: “It would be good if Leclerc played up front. That would be really good for Formula 1, but they [Ferrari] drop the ball at the moment. It would be better if the World Cup went to the end and not decided in September.”
Despite the already enormous deficit, Leclerc is unconcerned: “I’m not worried. It’s a big gap, but I’m just concentrating on the work and I’m confident that we can win it back.”
“That motivates me more, because of course I know that the pace is in the car. I’m not worried, I’m just extremely motivated to finally have a clean weekend and to show that we’re strong.”
Ferrari struggles with reliability
In particular, the reliability of the F1-75 went on strike in the past races. Leclerc may have lost two wins to engine trouble in Spain and Azerbaijan, while suffering his first grid penalty in Canada.
The stability could thus decide the world championship single-handedly. “Reliability will definitely be a big issue,” says Leclerc. “We saw that Red Bull also had a few problems. We just have to get good points consistently.”
“It seems to be a problem for everyone this season, but if we get a grip on it, the performance is there to fight back. If we get to the finish, then we’ll fight for victories,” Leclerc is confident. “So we’ll try to make up a few points at Silverstone.”
Will Leclercs fight back on his parade route?
The circuit in Great Britain has developed into Leclerc’s flagship circuit in recent years. The Monegasse has already been on the podium there three times, more than at any other track.
Last year he almost won the Grand Prix by surprise with an inferior Ferrari before Lewis Hamilton overtook him with three laps to go. In 2019 he also fought a sensational duel with spectacular maneuvers with Max Verstappen.
Accordingly, he is confident for the coming weekend: “I like Silverstone very much. Hopefully we are competitive enough to start from pole position and finally win from pole position.”