Charles Leclerc’s terrible racing crash at Paul Ricard and the Ferrari racer’s future plans have been highlighted by Mika Hakkinen.
Following his accident at the French Grand Prix, Mika Hakkinen advised Charles Leclerc to “recognise that he has the talent” and “concentrate on the advantages.”
Leclerc had the early advantage in the race at Paul Ricard, but when he slid into the obstacles, he practically gave the triumph to Max Verstappen, a competitor for the championship.
In the Drivers’ rankings, Leclerc currently trails Verstappen by 63 points, while Ferrari now behind Red Bull by 82 points in the Constructors’ race.
Hakkinen compares his own collision to Leclerc’s accident
“Everyone makes mistakes but this one was very public and costly,” said Hakkinen in his latest Unibet blog.
“I have had the same experience, for example when I went off while leading the Italian Grand Prix in 1999, and it is a really difficult experience. You know what you have done, thrown away the win and you have to accept responsibility.
“Charles is a fantastic driver and had driven perfectly until Lap 18. He took a lot of pressure from Max, but the Ferrari was very good in the quick corners and he was able to keep the Red Bull behind.
“The way the Ferrari and Red Bull were so closely matched around Paul Ricard was brilliant, but Charles’ mistake ended the battle.
“From then on it was easy for Max, he controlled the race, looked after his tyres and took another important step towards the championship title.”
What’s the next step for Leclerc?
Leclerc was then given some advice by Hakkinen, who also emphasised Carlos Sainz’s development into a “strong, capable” teammate.
“What’s important now is how Charles responds to this mistake,” added Hakkinen.
“As he said after the race, he has lost 32 points due to mistakes in Imola and Paul Ricard, and he cannot afford to continue doing that if he wants to beat Max. On top of that, Ferrari have also had strategy and reliability issues.
“What’s important is that Charles recognises that he has the talent and the car needed to win races, and he just needs to focus on the positives and take each weekend as it comes. One race at a time.
“That’s all you can do, concentrate on each race, focus on doing everything right.
“In this sport you have to keep learning, working with the team, doing whatever you need to do.”
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