F1: Defiant Leclerc insists Ferrari can beat Pink Bull and Verstappen | Racing Information

MONTREAL: Charles Leclerc left the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in defiant temper after Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix and insisted that he can overhaul Max Verstappen to win this 12 months’s world championship.
The 24-year-old Monegasque Ferrari driver is 49 factors adrift of Pink Bull’s world champion, who on Sunday reeled off his sixth win of the season, however nonetheless believes it’s not an insurmountable deficit.
Leclerc completed fifth after a storming, if irritating, race from the again of the grid having been handed a grid penalty for taking a brand new energy unit.
“Reliability is a priority for everybody this season,” mentioned Leclerc. “But when we will repair that, we now have the efficiency to return again and so, from Silverstone, we will probably be making an attempt to achieve factors again.
“Forty-nine factors? Two victories and it’s executed!”
Verstappen admitted after Sunday’s tense end that he didn’t have the tempo to beat Carlos Sainz, within the second Ferrari, with out defending laborious for the final 15 laps because the Spaniard did all he might to discover a strategy to cross him and declare his maiden win.
That proved, in response to the 24-year-old Dutchman, that this 12 months’s championship can swing between Pink Bull and Ferrari with extra twists to return.
“There may be nonetheless a really lengthy strategy to go within the championship and the hole is, after all, fairly huge, however we now have seen and we all know it might swap round fairly rapidly,” mentioned Verstappen, who struggled within the opening three races of the 12 months earlier than taking the initiative.
At the back of his thoughts, Verstappen might have recalled that he had a 32-point lead over seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes at the same level within the title race final 12 months when their battle went right down to the ultimate lap of the season.
“I imply,” he added. “Race three (this 12 months) I used to be 46 behind, so now we simply want to remain calm, must focus and we have to enhance as a result of we’re not the quickest.
“Final weekend, it regarded good within the race. Not so good. However we managed to win and that could be a high quality too and we simply must work collectively as a staff to try to discover little enhancements.”
So as to add to the complexity of the championship scrap, the upcoming British Grand Prix at Silverstone (July 3) may even see a resurgent problem from Mercedes with Hamilton main their cost at his and team-mate George Russell’s house race.
Hamilton mentioned he was ‘ecstatic’ to be again on the rostrum in third place on Sunday when he produced a convincing drive with out post-race grumbles about bouncing or ‘porpoising’, regardless of claiming his automobile was undriveable on Friday.
He acknowledged, nonetheless, that his automobile stays deeply capricious and unpredictable, suggesting that it stays seemingly Silverstone will witness one other battle between Ferrari and Pink Bull, with the Italian staff eager to present vent to their frustrations.
Sainz admitted that he might have erred in not taking a softer tyre to assault Verstappen at his pit-stop earlier than the closing laps whereas Leclerc mentioned he was twice caught behind ‘DRS trains’ of slower vehicles.
In every case, they knew they’d the pace to overhaul however didn’t have the house or alternative – a much less seemingly frustration for them on the sweeping high-speed British monitor.
“Our tempo was actually good,” mentioned Leclerc. “I acquired caught within the visitors twice… It is like this typically, however I hope will probably be totally different on the subsequent race – reliability allowing!”

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