Charles Leclerc insists he is not ready to give up on the 2019 Formula 1 world championship despite Ferrari’s difficult start to the season.

Leclerc sits fifth in the drivers’ standings and is 80 points behind current championship leader Lewis Hamilton after the opening six rounds, with Mercedes sweeping to victories at each round.

The Monegasque driver has just one podium finish to his name so far in 2019, but would have won in Bahrain had it not been for a cruel engine issue late on, while costly errors in Baku and Monaco squandered further opportunities to score good points.

Asked if he has already given up on the championship, Leclerc replied: “No, not yet. I never wave goodbye until it’s done.

“Of course, it’s been a difficult start to the season. We definitely expected more but we don’t need to wave goodbye yet. We need to push until the end and that’s what we are doing.

“Trying to understand our mistakes, trying not to do them again and improve from there, and I’m pretty sure the results will come.

“My target is always the same,” he added. “To try and maximise our potential with our car and this doesn’t change. I will just give it everything every race and we’ll see how it ends.

Leclerc believes becoming more consistent is a target that can be shared by both himself and Ferrari going forward.

“I think the only thing I can see from the beginning of the season is that any time we put everything together, we have been very strong,” Leclerc explained.

“But I think, as a team, and also myself, I just need to try and work with my engineers to be on top most of the time, which has not been the case until now.

“It’s still a pretty new team, I’m still new to the team obviously and Seb has a lot of, well he has been with the team for many years, so I think the consistency also helps him in these cases.

“I need to work on that to try and be more consistent, but definitely in Baku and Bahrain the performance was great now we just need to understand and try to be there every time.”

 

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