Charles Leclerc says he hasn't given up hope of winning the 2022 F1 Drivers' Championship, but cautions that a "perfect" run will be needed from now until the season's end if he is to achieve that goal.
Leclerc started 2022 in brilliant form, winning two of the first three races to take an early lead in the standings.
However, a run of poor reliability and bad luck soon saw him vaulted at the top of the table by Max Verstappen, and despite narrowing the gap over the past two races, Leclerc still sits 38 points behind the Dutchman.
The Monegasque passed Verstappen three times on his way to his first victory in eight races at the Austrian Grand Prix last time out, and gave a bullish assessment of his title hopes ahead of this weekend's French Grand Prix.
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Leclerc: We need to be perfect
"The goal is still to win the championship, so I don't have a plan to lose any more points than we already have," Leclerc told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"38 [points behind Verstappen] is quite significant, [but] it doesn't mean that it's not possible. I still believe in it as much as I did five races ago.
"We've done a few mistakes, we've had some reliability problems, and now we just need to be perfect until the end of the season, and I'm sure that we can close that gap."
Following his win in Austria, Leclerc sits second in the Drivers' Championship with 170 points, 19 ahead of Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez in third place.
In the Constructors' Championship, back-to-back wins in the last two races have helped Ferrari close the gap to Red Bull, with the Scuderia now on 303 points, 56 adrift of the drinks-backed squad.
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