Different news. Leclerc gave the race to Paul Ricard while Sainz was chosen “driver of the day”. Photo: EFE / EPA / CHRISTIAN BRUNA.
If Max Verstappen, who crossed the finish line first, e Mercedeswhich managed to bring its two drivers to the podium for the first time this season, were the winners of the French Grand Prix, 12th round of the Formula 1 championship; Charles Leclerc and ferrari They were the big losers.
The Monegasque was unable to complete the test after crashing into the barriers due to an incredible mistake and went off the track Paolo Ricardo no collection point. The accident happened just when he was driving comfortably and seemed unreachable; so it cost him a victory, almost certainly. And maybe even his chances of screaming champion – at least, he complicated them -, because the Dutch gives Red Bull extended his lead in the standings to 63 units.
The debacle of Charles, who accepted the blame, shook the tranquility in the garage of the Scuderia, which in any case came out to support him. “He is a fantastic driver who made a mistake this time, as anyone can. He was driving on the limit and these things can happen when you drive on the limit. I’m sure he will learn from that and come back stronger and hungrier,” said Mattia. Binotto. , head of the Italian team.
But in the world of motorsport the discussion was open. Is Leclerc, 24 years old and in his first season with a highly competitive car, really ready to fight for a world championship? should Ferrari change your plans and start prioritizing on the track Carlos Sainz, who signed another exceptional performance at Le Castellet, starting 19th and finishing fifth?
The Maranello house started the championship as the strongest on the grid after its new car shone in pre-season testing. And in the first few dates it seemed that not even Red Bull with Verstappen at the wheel had the pace to fight the brand new ones F1-75.
Leclerc was the first World Cup leader and, after scoring a 1-2-1 on three opening dates in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Australia, he took a 46-point lead over the reigning Dutch champion. But then it had no consistency and that championship difference, which seemed enormous, was diluted with the passing of the races.