Charles Leclerc: ‘I’m going to close myself at home’

Charles Leclerc's crash opened the door for Max Verstappen to win the French Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc is taking a few days away from the madness of Formula 1 before the Hungarian Grand Prix after his crash in France last weekend.

The Monegasque started on pole and held off Max Verstappen in the opening stint, before spinning at Turn 11 and slamming into the barrier, ending his hopes of victory.

Verstappen went on to take the win for Red Bull and extend his championship lead, while team-mate Sergio Perez struggled to fourth having been passed by both Mercedes drivers, Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

Carlos Sainz was never in the conversation for the win in the other Ferrari after starting from the back due to an engine penalty following his reliability failure in Austria a fortnight prior.

The Spaniard then piked up another penalty in the race for an unsafe release, meaning he finished fifth, picking up the fastest lap as a consolation for the team.

Leclerc’s crash was another win thrown away this season by the Scuderia as they continue to lose ground to Red Bull, and Leclerc affirmed after the race that he simply wanted to go home and stay inside until Budapest this weekend.

“I’m going to close myself at home and only go out when I have [to catch] the plane to go to Budapest,” he said.

“I just want to stay alone.”

The 24-year-old conceded that it is worthless to be competing for a championship if he is making major mistakes.

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“I feel like I’m performing at the highest level of my career since the beginning of the season, but there’s no point in performing at a high level if I do those mistakes,” Leclerc told Sky Sports.

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“Thirty-two points lost overall – 25 here as it was likely we were going to win because we were fast – and seven in Imola because of my mistake.

“So at the end of the year we will count back and if there are 32 points missing then I know it’s come from me and I know I did not deserve to win the championship.”

As a result, mistakes like the ones made in Imola and Le Castellet are not ones he can afford to repeat in the latter part of this season.

“For the second half of the season, I know I need to get on top of things if I want to be a world champion.”

Verstappen leads Leclerc by 63 points in the Drivers’ Standings heading into Hungary this weekend, while Red Bull have opened out an 82-point gap to Ferrari in the Constructors’ Standings.