Charles Leclerc fires back at ‘desperate’ criticism

Charles Leclerc will be hoping Ferrari rebounds ahead of his home race, as the Monegasque looks to secure a maiden victory in the principality.

Charles Leclerc is under pressure amid Ferrari’s challenging start to the 2023 season, as the Monegasque seeks to show he is equal to his rivals on the grid.

The first five rounds of the year have been tough for Ferrari, with the Italian team only managing podiums in the Sprint and Grand Prix around Azerbaijan.

Leclerc personally has suffered from two DNFS in five rounds, with one unavoidable, while another was due to contact with a rival driver.

Two crashes during the weekend in Miami also hurt the Monegasque’s standing in the Drivers’ Championship, as he ended in seventh place – behind his teammate.

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“Somehow he makes a mistake every weekend,” former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher said.

1996 Formula 1 world champion Damon Hill agreed with his fellow former driver, stating “he keeps on making mistakes, even on qualifying laps.”

“Charles drives with a touch of desperation and at times looks beyond his ability,” David Coulthard continued.

Addressing the season so far at an event at Ferrari’s Maranello base, Leclerc was open about the situation he and the team are enduring.

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“Pressure? I have a lot of pressure, especially since I’ve been with this team,” La Gazzetta dello Sport quoted Leclerc as saying.

“It requires a lot of passion and responsibility, because many people are disappointed even at the smallest mistake.

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“But I always dreamed of driving in Formula 1 for Ferrari, so I understand these responsibilities. We must be prepared for it.

“In our sport, pressure is normal. You keep fighting even when things don’t go as you would expect.”

Heading to his home race in Monaco this weekend, Leclerc sits in P7 of the Drivers’ Standings, with 34 points, behind his teammate Carlos Sainz who is in fifth place.