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Leclerc gives fresh assessment of title chances after latest drama

Charles Leclerc is refusing to focus on either championship and believes he and Ferrari first need to figure out "what we can do better".

Charles Leclerc believes that he and the Ferrari team need to focus on other priorities before thinking about the championships again. After finishing the Hungarian Grand Prix in sixth place, the Monegasque heads into the summer break trailing Red Bull's Max Verstappen in the Drivers' Championship by 80 points. Having started several places higher than Verstappen at the Hungaroring, Leclerc was presented with an opportunity to reduce the gap at the top of the championship. However, despite working his way up to the lead of the race, an unfavourable tyre strategy resulted in the Ferrari being passed by Verstappen and falling down the order. The Red Bull driver went on to win the race and take a championship points lead worth over three victories.

Leclerc: We must take more steps forward

With many rival teams and F1 personnel concluding that Ferrari's Hungarian GP tyre strategy was the wrong one, their latest error has added to the pressure already building at the team. Despite taking seven pole positions in 2022, Leclerc has taken only three victories, with many races being set back by a variety of issues. As well as race-ending reliability issues in Spain and Azerbaijan – and taking subsequent grid penalties in Canada – there have been driver errors in Imola and France. Following the Hungarian GP, Leclerc was asked about his championship aspirations, to which he suggested that Ferrari first focuses on their areas of improvement. "Before thinking about the championship first, we as a team need to understand what we need to do to get better," Leclerc told media, including RacingNews365.com . "As a team, looking where we have come from in the last few years, I do believe that it's an incredible step forwards. "On the other hand, obviously, there is another step that we need to do, and we are working on that."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying