F1: Ferrari masters of their own downfall again as Charles Leclerc admits fault in French Grand Prix crash

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Charles Leclerc shouldered the blame for crashing out of the French Grand Prix while leading Sunday’s race.

Numerous unforced errors from the driver and his Ferrari team have stifled his bid to win a first Formula One world title and his spin off into the tyre barrier at Circuit Paul Ricard could prove the most costly.

Leclerc had suggested his throttle was an issue immediately after the crash - which prompted a blood-curdling scream over team radio - but the 24-year-old later admitted he simply lost control of the car.

“I’m performing at the highest level of my career but if I keep making those mistakes it’s pointless,” he stated afterwards.

“I’m losing too many points: seven at Imola, 25 here because honestly we were the strongest car on track today. So if we lose the championship by 32 points at the end of the season I will know where it came from.

“It’s unacceptable, I need to get on top of it. I’ll try to analyse it, the snap was a bit of a weird one so I’ll look into the data, try to understand if there’s something I don’t know yet.

“But to me it’s a mistake and that’s it.

“It’s been a very difficult weekend for me, I struggled with the balance of the car. When it’s warm like this it’s very difficult to be consistent.”

Ferrari team prinicipal Mattia Binotto insisted the picture is not too negative for the Scuderia after Max Verstappen opened up a 63-point lead over Leclerc with victory in France.

“It didn’t go to plan but I think we had a good performance, in tyre management and degradation again,” said the Italian.

“After 15 laps, Charles was going well and he was gaining a couple of tenths per lap on Max - he had to stop very early and we certainly would have extended the stint.

“It’s a mistake, it happens. We may have reliability issues but I said to Charles, ‘We make our life a bit more difficult but we will enjoy [our success] more in the future’.”

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