Leclerc heads to Canada 'mentally strong' despite setbacks

ยฉFerrari

Charles Leclerc says he'll tackle next weekend's Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal with the mentality of a championship leader, as he was five races ago.

A strong opening salvo in the first three races of the 2022 season propelled Leclerc ahead of his rivals in F1's Drivers' standings.

But from Imola, Leclerc saw his comfortable lead over Max Verstappen in the championship melt like straggling snow that falls on fire.

Two retirements - in Spain and in Baku - triggered by Ferrari's reliability issues and scrappy strategy calls in Monaco handed big points to the Red Bull camp and to its reigning world champion.

Unbeaten in qualifying since Miami, Leclerc hasn't been able to capitalize on his strong Saturday form on Sundays, and that's a cause for concern for the Monegasque moving forward.

ยฉFerrari

The 24-year-old was down after his early exit in Baku, but don't count him out.

"It's a third disappointment in a row, and it's not easy," he said.

"But yeah, overall, I'm confident that mentally I will be as strong as I was five races ago, when I was leading the championship, at the next race, and the motivation is still there.

"But we need to get on top of those things. And obviously, reliability is something that we need to look into after the last three races.

"As a team, we need to maybe do a step on that."

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Ferrari's recent setbacks coupled with Verstappen's triumphs have left Leclerc 34 points adrift in the standings. But the Scuderia charger is nowhere near ready to throw in the towel, with three races to go before the F1 season reaches its half-way point.

"I believe we can win the championship still, but we need to be on top of those things," he said.

"After the last few races, I think we've shown that we've lost too many points there and we need to look into this," Leclerc said.

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