‘Charles Leclerc gets too much credit compared to Carlos Sainz’

Charles Leclerc lost several victories in 2022 as a result of strategic errors by Ferrari, which ruled him out of title contention.

Charles Leclerc’s calmness has been questioned by Dutch racing driver Tom Coronel, with the Dutchman wanting to see more emotion from the Monegasque driver, especially when things go wrong.

2022 was a mixed season for Leclerc, with the 25-year-old having been relentlessly quick at times, only to be outdone by either a driver, strategic, or reliability error.

Leclerc suffered from all three countless times during 2022, with the pressure of being a title contender having seemingly gotten the better of him and Ferrari.

Mistakes started to take control of Leclerc’s season from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where he span into a wall whilst trying to put pressure on Sergio Pérez.

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It was an error he really didn’t need to make, given that he was already in the top three and had started the season so strongly, after winning two of the opening three races.

His mistake in Imola was somewhat the beginning of the end of his season, as he suffered engine failures whilst leading in Azerbaijan and Spain, and then lost the lead at Monaco through an embarrassing strategic blunder.

Further errors occurred for Leclerc throughout the remainder of the season, with the most disappointing having been his driver error that saw him crash out of the lead at the French Grand Prix.

Looking back on Leclerc’s year, Coronel admits that the Ferrari star has “disappointed” him, with the Dutchman revealing that he has “always been more of a fan” of Carlos Sainz.

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“Leclerc disappointed me because he went very well at the beginning of the year, when everyone shouted ‘He is a champion candidate’, but personally I have always been more of a fan of his teammate Carlos Sainz, who had a lot of bad luck,” Coronel wrote for Formule1.nl.

“People pretend that Sainz is second driver at Ferrari, but look at the scoring – Sainz was in front in 2021. Leclerc gets too much credit for me, compared to Sainz. Yes, in the beginning he competed for the world title, but in the end you have to conclude that he is not quite there.

“Leclerc can drive really fast, that’s right, but that makes him a qualifying guy for me, not a good racer. With Max Verstappen it is the other way around.

“Of course, Max can also qualify well, but Leclerc really excels at that. On Sundays he makes too many mistakes and does not handle the tyres well. In Imola and Paul Ricard it was also because he was being chased by Max.”

In regard to the strategic errors that cost Leclerc vital points, the Monegasque weirdly never lost his cool with the team, with him having remained remarkably calm even at times of utter disappointment.

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With this in mind, Coronel wants to see Leclerc let the team know how he feels more often and to stop being so “neat”, with the driver being likened to a “Labrador”.

“Where is the emotion?” questioned Coronel.

“You then have to swing your helmet through the pit box and headbutt the motorman! Leclerc is much too neat for that. He is an ideal son-in-law, a Labrador.”