F1: Leclerc says Ferrari career has 'exceeded expectations'
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Ferrari won’t win world championships as they are making too many mistakes as Charles Leclerc is left is in Max Verstappen’s dust, according to former driver Mika Salo. Salo was Michael Schumacher’s replacement at Ferrari when the German broke his leg in a high-speed shunt at the 1999 British Grand Prix.
However, he has now slammed his former team and written off their chances of securing a first F1 crown in 15 years. The 55-year-old claimed Ferrari looked “very strong” at the start of the season but has since fallen away after making a range of “mistakes”.
He added that teams “don’t win world titles this way” in a massive blow to Leclerc’s bid for his first F1 crown. Speaking to Racing News 365, Salo said: “The Ferrari is certainly very fast, but something always goes wrong. I don’t know what it is.
“Sometimes the drivers make mistakes, sometimes the team again. You don’t win world titles in this way. When the season started, Ferrari were very strong and Verstappen and Red Bull had back luck and reliability problems. It looked like it was going to be an easy title for Ferrari and Leclerc.
“But Red Bull had completely turned this around. Max is very, very strong.”
Ferrari and Leclerc won two of the first three races while Red Bull suffered mechanical failures. However, the tide quickly turned with Leclerc suffering two of his own engine blowouts in Spain and Azerbaijan while leading the race.
Strategy errors have also cost Leclerc points at the Monaco, British and Hungarian Grands Prix. The Monegasque’s own errors at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and French Grand Prix are thought to have cost him 32 points.
Take away all of these issues and Leclerc should be leading the world championship instead of finding himself over three race victories away from Verstappen. Salo admitted that Ferrari “don’t deserve the title” due to the range of errors the team had made.
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He claimed the Scuderia was looking at how to lose a race instead of winning” which had derailed their bid for the championship. He explained: “I think Mattia did a really good job of bringing Ferrari back to the top. It is just small things they need to fix.
“They’re doing great on Saturdays, but on Sunday. It seems like the team meeting is already going wrong before the race, that they’re looking at how to lose a race instead of winning.” The way it is at Ferrari, I don’t think they deserve the title at all.”
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