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Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc admits French GP mistake was ‘unacceptable’

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc admits French GP mistake was 'unacceptable'

LE CASTELLET, France — Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc crashed out of lead of the French Grand Prix, dealing a critical blow to his title chances.

Leclerc was in a commanding position and was expected to pit for fresh tyres when he ran wide at the high-speed Turn 11 and spun into the barriers.

The mistake handed the lead of the race to title rival Max Verstappen, who was already leading Leclerc by 38 points ahead of the race.

“I am performing at the highest level of my career but if I keep the mistakes then it is pointless. If we lose the championship by 32 points I will know where they are coming from but it is unacceptable,” Leclerc told Sky Sports.

“I go through the same process all the time and try to analyse. It is a mistake and that is it. It is trying to push too much and I lost the rear. It has been a very difficult weekend for me, I struggled with the balance of the car.

“I made a mistake at the wrong moment.”

Leclerc was unharmed but was clearly devastated by the incident and its repecussions. On the team radio he said he “couldn’t get off the throttle” before yelling “no!” to his race engineer.

Leclerc suffered a problem with his throttle at the previous round in Austria when it stayed partly open in the final laps of the race. He managed to drive around the issue to win the race, but it is not clear if that problem is any way linked to the issue he suffered in France.

The result was Leclerc’s third retirement of the year following two power unit issues in Spain and Azerbaijan.

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