Charles Leclerc remains as determined as ever to claim a world title with Ferrari, following a Dutch Grand Prix to forget for the Monegasque.
Having entered the second half of the season on the back of a podium at the Belgian Grand Prix, Leclerc was hopeful that he’d be able to build some momentum; however, this wasn’t the case.
A messy qualifying ended with the 25-year-old crashing in Q3, resulting in him having to take a new gearbox for the race.
Leclerc took his fourth and final legal gearbox, meaning that should another new gearbox be required later in the season, then it’ll result in a grid penalty.
His race went no better, as an opening lap snap saw him make contact with Oscar Piastri, damaging the floor of his SF-23.
He struggled for any real pace from that moment onwards, with him having even been overtaken by debutant Liam Lawson.
Ferrari eventually called Leclerc into the pits to retire, bringing another dire weekend to a close.
It really was a weekend which saw Ferrari struggle for pace across the board, with Carlos Sainz having somehow held on for fifth in the race.
The Spaniard openly admitted though, that Ferrari were sixth in the pecking order at Zandvoort.
“Williams, McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes, Aston Martin, they’re all quicker than us here,” Sainz admitted.
With Ferrari’s pace having been so poor again, Leclerc was asked about his future with the team after his retirement.
Whilst he’s currently contracted until the end of 2024, Leclerc refused to admit whether he needed a change of scenery, with him insisting that his “main goal” hasn’t changed.
“That is not the question now,” Leclerc told Sky Germany. “We have to focus and improve as a team. Then we’ll see.
“But as I have always said, I love Ferrari and my main goal is to win the world championship with the team and I will do everything to achieve it.”
Whilst it’s easy to point the finger at his floor damage for Leclerc’s woeful pace, some are struggling to understand how the 2022 Vice-Champion has fallen quite so dramatically, including 1996 World Champion Damon Hill.
“How is this happening to a top driver like that?” Hill said.