Leclerc: There was no race with no emotions

Charles Leclerc reflected on a first half of the 2022 Formula 1 season, claiming there was no race were emotions didn’t run high as he now heads into the summer break.

Ferrari started their 2022 F1 campaign with promise, Leclerc taking the first pole of the season in Bahrain, then transforming it into a win, and at some point lead Max Verstappen by over 40 points in the Drivers’ Championship as Red Bull faced some early reliability niggles.

However, as the season progressed, Verstappen has been able to overhaul Leclerc and now leads him by 80 points as Ferrari suffered from reliability problems themselves, committed glaring strategic errors, while Leclerc himself had a couple of driver errors one at Imola, the other in France.

Amazing Ferrari is back fighting for wins

The Ferrari ace spoke of his season in an interview with BBC Sport, looking back on his season so far, he began: “Whether it was in highs or lows, there was no race with no emotions.

“It’s either win, or leading and then some problems occur or whatever. So it’s been a first part of the season with quite a few things happening,” he added.

“First of all, it was amazing to see that we finally got back to fighting for wins,” Leclerc pointed out. “On the other hand, we haven’t managed to maximise all the potential we had. And this is not great.

“We still have the second part of the season to catch up, I hope, and I will push at the maximum. But the last few races have been a bit difficult,” he admitted.

Leclerc is adamant Ferrari know where they have gone wrong and highlighted the mistakes that marred his and his team’s campaign.

“Let’s say that we know we need to work on that,” he said. “We want to do absolutely everything to get better in every single thing we do, and obviously looking at the first part of this season, there have been some strategy problems, there have been some reliability problems and there have been driving mistakes.

Leclerc remains confident Ferrari can overcome weaknesses

“On reliability and strategy, we are working extremely hard to get better,” the Monegasque went on. “And after a mistake, we always go through exactly the same process, which is to try and analyse from where the mistakes come, why did we take the wrong decision at a certain point of the race, in order to go forwards. As soon as we understand a mistake, then we can move on.”

Asked what helps him keep the faith in his team, he responded: “The way that we work, because I know how tough it’s been the last few years to get back to where we are. And I know that we arrived to that level because for two years we have been working on those weaknesses of the car.

“So, we still have weaknesses and we need to work on them. But if we work as well as we did in the last two years on other weaknesses, I am confident we will overcome them,” a confident Leclerc maintained.

Leclerc’s latest emotion was definitely a mix of disappointment, frustration, and bewilderment, as a questionable strategy and tyre decision by Ferrari at the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix meant he finished sixth instead of clinching a potential victory.