Charles Leclerc told ‘mistake’ must be addressed to keep title hopes alive

CHARLES LECLERC made a mistake during the French Grand Prix and crashed out of the race.

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Charles Leclerc crashed out of the French Grand Prix after starting the race in pole, having made a mistake which saw him spin out and hit the barriers.

As a result of his mistake, the Ferrari driver slipped even further behind rival Max Verstappen in the title race, with the Dutchman going on to win the French Grand Prix and extend his lead to 63 points. Leclerc was furious after the race, saying: “[It was] a mistake.

“I think I’m performing at the highest level in my career, but if I keep doing those mistakes, then it’s pointless to perform at a very high level. I’m losing too many points.”

And former F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen believes Leclerc needs to try and “focus on the positives and take each weekend as it comes” if he is to keep his title hopes alive. Speaking to Unibet, Hakkinen said: “Everyone makes mistakes but this one was very public and costly.

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Charles Leclerc told 'mistake' must be addressed to keep title hopes alive

Charles Leclerc crashed out of the French Grand Prix (Image: GETTY)

“I have had the same experience, for example when I went off while leading the Italian Grand Prix in 1999, and it is a really difficult experience. You know what you have done, thrown away the win and you have to accept responsibility. Charles is a fantastic driver and had driven perfectly until lap 18.

“He took a lot of pressure from Max, but the Ferrari was very good in the quick corners and he was able to keep the Red Bull behind. The way the Ferrari and Red Bull were so closely matched around Paul Ricard was brilliant, but Charles’ mistake ended the battle.

“From then on it was easy for Max, he controlled the race, looked after his tyres and took another important step towards the championship title. What’s important now is how Charles responds to this mistake.

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Charles Leclerc told 'mistake' must be addressed to keep title hopes alive

Former F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen (Image: GETTY)

“As he said after the race, he has lost 32 points due to mistakes in Imola and Paul Ricard, and he cannot afford to continue doing that if he wants to beat Max. On top of that, Ferrari have also had strategy and reliability issues.  

“What’s important is that Charles recognises that he has the talent and the car needed to win races, and he just needs to focus on the positives and take each weekend as it comes. One race at a time. That’s all you can do, concentrate on each race, focus on doing everything right.”

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