Charles Leclerc admitted “unclean” to Ferrari in failed pursuit of Red Bull | Tech US News

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Ian Parkes & Sam Hall

Friday, November 11, 2022 06:00

Charles Leclerc has admitted that Ferrari followed Red Bull too quickly, leaving them “not clean enough to challenge” in the fight for this year’s F1 title.

Ferrari and Leclerc initially took a commanding lead in the championship after taking two wins in the opening three races of the season, but have limped to the finish line since then, with the team now in the clutches of Mercedes for second place in the constructors’ standings.

After the Japanese Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen was confirmed as drivers’ champion, Leclerc called on the Scuderia to use the final races to improve on weaknesses and build a platform for success in 2023.

Asked ahead of this weekend’s São Paulo GP how Ferrari could achieve this, Leclerc said: “Learning from mistakes. That’s the main thing.

“I also believe that whenever you are in the rhythm of good races, it helps.

“We had a moment in our season where we struggled a lot and that then encouraged people to maybe overdo it and that’s where mistakes happen.

“So on that, I think we’ve learned our lesson and I hope we don’t do that again next year.”

Red Bull “almost flawless this season”

Red Bull has made it nine consecutive wins in a streak that stretches back to the French Grand Prix just before the summer shutdown.

Throughout the season, Verstappen also broke the record to become the most successful driver in a single year with 14 wins, surpassing the previous benchmark set by Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher.

Assessing what Red Bull and Verstappen have achieved this season, Leclerc said: “Max and Red Bull have been almost flawless this season.

“They did an amazing job and they absolutely deserve to win the title. We weren’t clean enough to challenge them.

“The performance was probably there, but there were too many mistakes – reliability, strategy, even my mistakes cost me some points. And we have to get better at that.

“But Max did a good job.”

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