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Leclerc firmly denies suggested cause of recent F1 setbacks

Ferrari have endured mixed fortunes in the 2022 F1 season, but Charles Leclerc does not feel that the weight of expectation is a reason for their fumbles.

Charles Leclerc does not believe that Ferrari's Formula 1 championship drought is a reason why the team have struggled in 2022. The Scuderia last won the Drivers' title with Kimi Raikkonen in 2007, and their last championship overall came in the 2008 season when Raikkonen and Felipe Massa collected the Constructors'. The end of the 2021 season marked 13 campaigns since Ferrari last picked up any F1 silverware, their second longest run in F1. They did not win either championship from the 1983 Constructors' to the 1999 Constructors', although they did wait 21 seasons between Jody Scheckter's 1979 crown and Michael Schumacher's first for the team in 2000. Given the pace of the F1-75, the weight of expectation on Leclerc and Carlos Sainz has intensified to deliver another title to Maranello. However, repeated strategic, reliability and operational blunders or failures have left Leclerc 80 points off leader Max Verstappen and Ferrari 93 points behind Red Bull.

Leclerc "does not think" about last title

"I mean, I don't think about this," said Leclerc when asked by media, including RacingNews365.com , if the way he was driving was impacted by wanting to end the title drought. "Even though Ferrari remains Ferrari of 2000, the team is very different, and we are [in] a different place now. "The last few years have been very difficult for us [Ferrari slipped to sixth in the 2020 Constructors' Championship]. "We did an incredible step from last year to this year to be fighting for wins and obviously, the goal remains to be World Champion. "It still remains the same goal for me, even though that now is going to be more difficult. "But it doesn't add pressure that it has been so many years, and we haven't won."

Leclerc: Ferrari have the base to win titles

Speaking before the Hungarian Grand Prix – where another Ferrari strategy blunder turned a two-three on the grid into a four-six result by the end of the race – Leclerc was confident that all the right steps were in place for the team to win titles again. "I think that the base now is there to win a championship, we just need to put everything together," the Monegasque said. "Reliability has been a problem this year in which we've lost loads of points [potentially 50 for Leclerc through engine failures while leading in Spain and Azerbaijan], and we'll try to grow from that. "Hopefully, if we don't have these [problems] for the rest of the year, things are still possible. But I still remain positive."

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