Charles Leclerc accepted the blame on Sunday after crashing while leading the French Grand Prix for Ferrari, gifting another victory to Red Bull rival and series leader Max Verstappen. The Monegasque driver, who led 18 laps, lost control of his car at the high-speed Le Beusset corner, where he spun and slowed before hitting a tire barrier. Leclerc, taking the lead for the third time this season, was sad but distressed at the loss of another potential win and later shouted in agony that it was “unacceptable”.
Verstappen took full advantage during a safety car intervention after the crash to take control and claim his seventh win this season.
He now leads Leclerc in the title race with 233 points to 170.
“One mistake – my fault,” said Leclerc.
“I feel like I’m performing at the highest level of my career, but it’s pointless to perform at a very high level if I keep making these mistakes.
“I’m losing too many points. I think seven at Imola, 25 here – because honestly we were probably the strongest car on the track today – so if we lose the championship by 32 points at the end of the season, I will know where they are coming from.
“It’s unacceptable. I just need to get on top of those things.”
While in his car, after the accident, Leclerc suggested that he suffered from a ‘sticking’ strangulation, but he did not repeat it until later and took the blame himself.
He said he intended to study the accident statistics to see if there was any mechanical fault that caused him to lose control of the rear end of the car.
“I go through the same process all the time, trying to analyze everything and the picture today was somewhat strange,” he said.
“So, I’ll look at the data and try to figure out if there’s anything I don’t know yet, but for me it’s a mistake and that’s all.”
Leclerc’s misfortune allowed world champion Verstappen to claim a crushing victory ahead of the two Mercedes of seven-time champions Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, enjoying the team’s first double podium this year.
Mercedes extended its record this year as the only team to score points in every race, while Hamilton continued as the only driver to complete each race.
Verstappen was sympathetic to Leclerc, but was ruthless in his point of view.
“I’m sorry for Charles, but it’s easy to make a mistake,” Verstappen said. “It just might happen. I’m sure we’ll have tough weekends to come as well.
“Of course, it was unfortunate for Charles and I hope he’s okay. From there, I just finished my race, looked after the tires because here, with the pit lane being so long, you can’t make another stop.” could.”
Verstappen has a 63-point lead over Leclerc ahead of next weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, the last before the summer break.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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