Charles Leclerc's championship challenge was dealt a blow after he was forced into retirement from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver was leading the Baku race before a mechanical issue ended his hopes of a first victory in the Azerbaijan capital. Max Verstappen was left to take the victory for Red Bull, and the result increased his points difference over Leclerc to 34 points. Leclerc has now retired from the lead of the race in two of the last three events, and was denied a Monaco GP victory through incorrect strategy calls. Speaking after his retirement to Sky Sports F1 , Leclerc was unable to hide his frustration and called on Ferrari to solve their reliability woes. "Any DNF is hard, but this one is the third in a row. It's the third disappointment in a row, and it's not easy," said Leclerc. "Mentally, I'm confident that at the next race I will be as strong as I was five races ago when I was leading the championship, and the motivation is still there. "We need to get on top of those things. Reliability is something that we need to look into after the last three races. As a team, we need to make steps in that area. "After the last three races, I think we've shown that we've lost too many points and we need to look into this."
Leclerc unsure if Ferrari-powered DNFs are related
It was a bad day for the Ferrari-powered cars in Baku, who accounted for four of the five race retirements. The Ferraris of Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were the first to record a DNF, followed by Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu and the Haas of Kevin Magnussen. When asked about the relationship between the Ferrari-powered retirements, Leclerc was unable to confirm if they were all connected. "It's very difficult because I don't have the full picture, so I don't know. If it was the same for all three cars, I really don't know," he stated. "Looking at it from my side, it's two DNFs in three races and it doesn't feel good. "I believe we can still win the championship, but we need to be on top of those things."