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Leclerc makes 'unclean' Ferrari admission in failed Red Bull pursuit

Leclerc makes 'unclean' Ferrari admission in failed Red Bull pursuit

F1 News

Leclerc makes 'unclean' Ferrari admission in failed Red Bull pursuit

Leclerc makes 'unclean' Ferrari admission in failed Red Bull pursuit
Ian Parkes & Sam Hall

Charles Leclerc has conceded Ferrari overcooked its pursuit of Red Bull which led to it not being "clean enough to challenge" in the battle for this year's F1 title.

Ferrari and Leclerc initially took a commanding championship lead after scoring two wins from the opening three races of the season but it has since limped to the finish line, with the team now falling into the clutches of Mercedes for second place in the constructors' standings.

After the Japanese Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen was confirmed as the drivers' champion, Leclerc urged the Scuderia to use the final races to improve on areas of weakness and build a platform for success in 2023.

Asked ahead of this weekend's São Paulo GP how Ferrari could achieve this, Leclerc replied: “Learning from mistakes. This is the main thing.

"I also believe that whenever you are into the rhythm of good races then that helps.

"We had a moment of our season where we struggled a lot and that then pushed people to maybe overdo things and that is where mistakes occur.

“So on that, I feel we have learned the lesson and hopefully, we won’t do that next year.”

Red Bull "nearly faultless this season"

Red Bull has scored nine consecutive victories in a run that stretches back to the French Grand Prix just prior to the summer shutdown.

Across the season, Verstappen has also broken the record to become the most successful driver in a single year, claiming 14 victories to surpass 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 nearly faultless this season.

"They’ve done an incredible job and completely deserve to win the title. We haven’t been clean enough to challenge them.

"The performance was probably there but there were too many mistakes - reliability, strategy, also my mistakes cost some points. And on that, we need to get better.

“But Max has done a good job.”

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