Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was extremely hard on himself after his crash at the French Grand Prix, saying that he might as well not be racing at the level he is if he is making mistakes.
The Monegasque made only his second major error of the season in France on Sunday as he lost control of his car at Turn 11 and slammed into the wall.
He then could not reverse out of the barrier due to the throttle not opening, so he was forced to switch off and retire from the race.
Leclerc had started the race from pole position after a fantastic performance on Saturday, and he held off the Red Bull of Max Verstappen, before the Dutchman’s tyres wore out and he had to pit.
The error from the 24-year-old is his first costly one since the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in the fourth round of the season, when he lost the rear on the kerb and hit the wall while chasing Sergio Perez, turning a third-placed finish into P6.
Leclerc took full responsibility for the crash after the race, and asserted that he cannot compete for the title if he continues to make unforced errors.
“It’s my fault and if I keep doing mistakes like this then I deserve to not win the championship,” he said in the media pen.
“So, the level is very high this year, I’m performing at a high level but if I am doing those mistakes then it’s pointless to be at a high level.”
Verstappen went on to take victory for Red Bull ahead of Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell after the Mercedes duo both passed Sergio Perez.
Leclerc’s team-mate, Carlos Sainz, recovered from 19th on the grid to finish fifth following an engine penalty ahead of the weekend, and then a five-second penalty in the race for an unsafe release by his team.