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Leclerc struggling for words after Ferrari's Baku failures

13/06/22

The Monégasque driver has slipped in the standings.

Charles Leclerc was left struggling for words after Ferrari's recent woes continued as he was forced to retire from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Leclerc claimed pole for the street race in Baku but became the first driver since Juan Pablo Montoya in 2001 to start on pole in four successive races and not win any of them.

An engine failure saw him retire on lap 20, ending any hope of what looked to be a looming battle with championship rival Max Verstappen.

His retirement followed that of team-mate Carlos Sainz on lap nine due to a hydraulics issue, with further worries coming as Ferrari customers Alfa Romeo and Haas saw Zhou Guanyu and Kevin Magnussen end their races early, the latter seemingly due to an engine problem.

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Verstappen went on to cruise to a victory that puts him 34 points ahead of Leclerc, with his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez leapfrogging the Monegasque in the standings. Perez leads Leclerc by 13 points.

Ferrari are also 80 points behind Red Bull in the constructors' standings and Leclerc could not hide his disappointment after a second retirement in three races.

"It hurts, we really need to look into that for it not to happen again, I don't really find the right words to describe this," Leclerc told Sky Sports.

"It's very, very disappointing. I don't know.

"We really need to look into it. We've been fast and we didn't have big problems in the first part of the season.

"Now it seems we have a bit more compared to the beginning of the season, but we didn't change massive things, if anything we made the thing better.

"It's difficult to understand for now, we will have to analyse, obviously I don't have the full picture of what happened but just personally again it hurts."

Sainz was slightly more upbeat after his third retirement of the year.

He said to Sky Sports: "It's a bad day for the team, but we need to make sure that we stay together, we stay positive, better days will come and so far the 2022 season is definitely not going my way.

"On my side we've just been terribly unlucky the whole season, it's been quite difficult to get any kind of momentum going this season. I cannot do two consecutive races without anything happening.

"I need laps and I need races to keep understanding the car. It's a shame but we are a team, we're going to stay united, we're going to stay positive because better days will come."


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