Charles Leclerc describes pain at latest F1 title blow with Azerbaijan Grand Prix retirement

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Charles Leclerc was left stunned as his Formula One world championship hopes continued to fizzle with a retirement from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

After losing the race lead to Sergio Perez at the first corner, the pole-sitter gambled on fresh tyres under the virtual safety car brought out by teammate Carlos Sainz’s DNF from a hydraulic failure.

That enabled him to have at least an outside shot of fighting back to win the race yet Leclerc was forced to retire himself when his engine blew out after 21 laps in the Baku sun.

“It hurts, we really need to look into that for it to not happen again,” he told Sky Sports as the race continued.

“I can’t really find the right words to say, it’s very disappointing. We really need to look into it.

“We’ve been fast and we didn’t have reliability problems earlier in the season, now we seem to have them and we didn’t change massive things - if anything we made it better. It’s difficult to understand, we have to analyse it.

“I don’t have the full picture, personally it hurts.”

The DNF was Leclerc’s second in three races, either side of a tactical error from Ferrari ruining his chances of winning in Monaco a fortnight ago.

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