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"Unfair" to call Leclerc error prone, says Binotto

NEWS STORY
25/07/2022

Ferrari boss, Mattia Binotto has said it is unfair to describe Charles Leclerc as error prone after an unforced error saw him throw away an almost certain victory in France.

In the confusion after the Monegasque spun off into the tyre barrier on lap 17, the initial reaction was that he had been caught out by a gust of wind.

Then, following his reaction when asked if he was okay, it was assumed he had suffered a repeat of the throttle issue that plagued him in Austria.

However, back in the pits, he was quick to take full responsibility for the off, admitting that it was his own mistake and nothing else.

"Obviously it's extremely frustrating," he said. "I feel like I'm performing at probably the highest level of my career since the beginning of the season. But there's no point of performing at a very high level if then I do those mistakes.

"I think there are 32 points in overall, 25 today, I think it was likely that we were going to win this race because we were fast, and seven in Imola with my mistake," he added. "So at the end of the year we will count back and if there are 32 points missing then I know it's coming from me and I did not deserve to win the championship."

Those 32 points refer to those lost yesterday and those lost at Imola where he damaged his car at the Variante Alta whilst pursuing race leader, Max Verstappen.

Though he was able to bring his Ferrari home in sixth, his over-enthusiasm led to claims that he is error prone.

First to leap to his defence was team boss, Mattia Binotto.

"I think it's a bit of an unfair judgement," said the Italian of yesterday's incident. "He was driving certainly at the limit.

"There are things that may happen when you're driving to the limit," he continued. "Why it happened, we will see if is there anything else, we take our time with him to discuss, and to judge, but at the moment there is no reason to blame him.

"I'm pretty sure he will learn. We have always seen that Charles is reacting very strongly and well to when he's doing mistakes. And I'm pretty sure that he will be back in Hungary stronger and hungry."

Despite the fact that the error, combined with teammate Carlos Sainz having to start from the back of the grid, Binotto insists that overall it was a positive weekend for the Maranello outfit.

"It has been a good weekend in terms of pace, and the car has proved to be very competitive," he said.

"I think Carlos' race showed it," he added. "Charles got the pole. He was leading the race. I think we had an edge on the Red Bull in terms of tyre degradation by lap 15, and then Max had to stop.

"We could have extended the stint and we were extending the stint, looking at the time where Max stopped when he was starting suffering from tyre degradation. Charles was gaining two or three tenths per lap, proving once again that our car is great and gentle with tyre management.

"We come out from here with full confidence in our package, in our drivers' capacity and our speed," he insisted. "Lucky enough now, in a week's time, we've got Hungary.

"It's important for us to turn the page, to look forward. Hungary will be again very hot there and it will be again about tyre management, tyre degradation and tyre overheating, very similar to Le Castellet.

"So I will say there is plenty of reason why we need to smile, and be positive, because our objective going in to Hungary should be not for a winning, but a 1-2!" he declared.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Le Castellet here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by The stogie, 28/07/2022 22:28

"Watch the Ferrari in-car cameras from France to see the effect of the dreaded 'porpoising'. The car was bouncing and the steering wheel was shaking. Scary."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Burton, 25/07/2022 23:55

"With 23 races a season it's pretty damn difficult to be faultless."

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by kenji, 25/07/2022 23:19

"Charles Leclerc is an ace and given the level he was at in the race, a small error is just so easy to make. I applaud his honesty and race integrity. Well done Charles. Stick with it and don't listen to those who would pull you down given half a chance."

Rating: Positive (7)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 25/07/2022 18:45

"Ferrari did indeed have a lot of positives from the French GP in that they are fast, reliable and able to stay ahead of their opposition and catch and pass too.

What I like about Leclerc is that he owns his errors, not a hint of "there was a gust of wind..." type excuses.

Could this be a season like 2005 where the fastest car doesn't yield a team or driver champion?

That being said, it is only halfway through the season."

Rating: Positive (6)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by prime, 25/07/2022 14:27

"2023 Leclair gets hair transplant specialist number from Vettel"

Rating: Negative (-8)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

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