Charles Leclerc’s 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix was nothing short of a disaster, as he was bewildered by Ferrari’s decision to bolt Hard tyres on his car where he struggled to finish sixth.
Charles Leclerc received another blow as he campaigns to win his maiden Formula 1 Title this year, a task that seemed highly probable at the start of this season, as Ferrari rolled out their impressive F1-75.
But a string of reliability problems, Ferrari classic strategy bungles, and a couple of errors from Leclerc’s end, dealt some serious blows to his Title chances.
The latest blow came at the race in Hungary, a race Mattia Binotto targeted to win with a Ferrari one-two, but as usual the Red team delivered another questionable strategy.
“I’m very, very disappointed obviously,” said Leclerc, quoted by F1’s Official Website. “The pace was really good on the medium tyres, the second stint also [on mediums] everything was under control and then we decided to stop on the hards.
“I don’t exactly know what are the reasons behind this decision yet, but we’ll speak with the team for me to understand, but clearly it wasn’t the right decision. And I made it clear that I felt good on the medium, so I don’t exactly know what happened,” the Monegasque revealed.
Leclerc was adamant his pace was good saying: “Honestly, the pace on my side, I was pretty happy, the only thing is that everybody will remember the last part of the race where it was a disaster for me, especially the hard – that’s why I lost the race.
Leclerc felt pace was good, Mattia Binotto claims otherwise
“I lost 20 seconds with the pit, another maybe six seconds on five laps on the hards because I was just all over the place with that tyre. Yes, that’s where we lost our race,” he insisted.
Leclerc admitted his Title hopes took a massive hit again, but added: “I feel very motivated and I just want to get back in the car and win again.
“So yes, today hasn’t been good, the last Sunday hasn’t been good, but overall the pace is there,” he continued. “We just need to get better at putting everything together because it always felt like there’s something going wrong, and we need to get on top of this… by speaking with the team obviously, and first understanding our mistakes, and then getting better.”
Leclerc’s boss Mattia Binotto buried his head in the sand, blaming the pace of the car for the team’s disastrous result.
“Today’s result is unsatisfactory,” he said. “In general, we did not perform well, with the car unable to reproduce Friday’s pace and in terms of how we managed the strategy and pit stops.
“Analysing every aspect of this race is our top priority over the coming days, in order to prepare as well as possible for the remaining Grands Prix,” Binotto added.
Regardless of the reasons, Leclerc now finds himself a massive 80 points behind Championship leader Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ Standings.