Why Leclerc is confident of overturning Verstappen’s 49-point lead

Charles Leclerc insists he can overturn the 49-point deficit to Max Verstappen in the F1 drivers’ championship despite losing further ground in the title race at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc

Leclerc started on the back row of the grid at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve after taking on new engine components due to his Ferrari power unit failure in Baku.

Despite making significant progress through the field, Leclerc’s race was compromised when he got stuck behind Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.

Leclerc managed to overtake both Alpines to come home in fifth after the Safety Car period, completing a solid recovery drive in Montreal.

With Verstappen taking his sixth win of the season, Leclerc is now 49 points behind going into July’s British Grand Prix.

Even with the gap so large, Leclerc remains confident he can turn it around.

“Yes, yes. I think reliability seems to be a concern for everyone this season,” Leclerc said when asked if he could catch Verstappen.

“If we fix our reliability the performance is there to come back so already from Silverstone we will try to get a few points back.”

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari F1-75. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Race
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari F1-75. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9,…

Reflecting on the 70-lap Canadian GP, Leclerc admitted he had to be patient when fighting in the midfield.

“I think unfortunately with the pit stop it put us a bit in a bad situation as we cleared the DRS train then got another DRS train and it cost me a bit at the end,” Leclerc added.

“Overall it was a race I had to be patient, at the beginning I was stuck in a DRS train then I was stuck behind Esteban who had new tyres and was very good at Turn 10, whenever I had free air I think pace was really good but it’s like this.”

Sainz’s best race of the year

On the other side of the Ferrari garage, Carlos Sainz enjoyed his best race of the year.

While he missed out yet again on his maiden F1 victory, he pushed Max Verstappen all the way.

On fresher hard tyres following the Safety Car, Sainz remained in DRS range of his former teammate, but couldn’t get through.

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari in the post race FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari in the post race FIA Press Conference…

Sainz felt that he was the fastest car on track - something that hasn’t been the case at any point this season, indicating that he’s made great progress.

“As I said, I left everything out there,” Sainz said. “But compared to a Red Bull today, we were quicker, I think the whole race. First time the season that I think I can say that I was fastest man on track, which gives me some confidence and hope for the next races. 

“But two or three-tenths is not enough to pass a Red Bull, you need more like five, six-tenths of pace delta if you really want to have any chance of passing Max.”

Read More