Leclerc was forced to start from the back of the grid after a change of his Ferrari power unit, before fighting back to cross the line in fifth place. Domenicali is convinced that his former team should not be counted out of the fight just yet as there is still a long way to go before the final chequered flag falls.
“If you remember after three races of the season, the comment from Max Verstappen was that the game was over and Ferrari was leading by 40 points or so. Now, it’s the other way around, because Max is leading the championship by 46 points,” he told Standard Sport
“I would say we need to be prudent. The championship is very long and is going to have lots of ups and downs. It’s too early to say the championship is finished, and I say that not because I hope that but I do believe that.
“We’re just one third of the season in. There are a lot of races and I’m sure the championship will be tight.”
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Ferrari and Mercedes tipped to join the battle in Britain
Apart from the fact that Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz was challenging for the Canadian victory last weekend with lap times faster than those of the Red Bull he was chasing after the final safety car, Domenicali has predicted that the Italian teams fighting challenge will be even stronger as soon as next weekend’s British Grand Prix, and they won’t be the only team making a resurgence in front of the British fans.
He has also admitted that the budget cap will have a big part to play in how things eventually finish...
“[Leclerc] is in great shape and Ferrari are very close. I also see signs that Mercedes are getting faster, so the scenario for the championship is to be close. It all depends how the cars adapt to the circuits and how, with this budget cap, the teams relay upgrades to the car. That’s the beauty of the situation we’re in,” he continued.
“For sure, Mercedes are going to be closer, because they are an incredible team and all the titles achieved in the past — eight in a row. They’re going to be there — they will not give up. And that will help for the situation to be a little more mixed up.”
F1 Podcast: What's next in F1's porpoising row?
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