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Charles Leclerc looks ready to give up the title fight formula 1 in 2022. With Max Verstappen far ahead in the leaderboard, the Monegasque stated that he has stopped counting the points for the Dutchman and that his objective now is to seek the runner-up.
The Monegasque started the 2022 season in great shape, winning two of the first three races, even leading the World Championship with 46 points more for Verstappen. But, in the next 11 races, he took just one victory against eight of the rival, being 98th behind the Red Bull driver in the standings, a difference close to four GPs.
And to make matters worse for Leclerc, he still has Sergio Pérez five points ahead of him in the table at the moment, with the Mexican already scoring more podiums than he has this season.
Asked at pre-Holland GP press conferences on Thursday whether he could be more relaxed in the final stretch of the season as he is so far away from Verstappen, Leclerc acknowledged that while it is “very difficult” to reverse this situation, he says he still there’s a lot to fight for, with a focus on the fight for vice against Pérez.
“No, no more relaxed,” he said. “Of course, now I don’t know how many points there are between Max and me… I stopped counting, but I know there are many. So we’ll go race by race. We’ll see what’s possible. If there’s a good surprise at the end of the year, ok. But obviously, seeing things as they are now, it’s very difficult for it to work.”
“But there’s still a lot to fight for. For the constructors’ championship, for the second place in the championship, so, in general, I’m going all out until the end.”
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75
Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images
As for Ferrari’s chances of getting back to fighting for victory at Zandvoort after a difficult weekend at Spa, Leclerc is hoping for a better chance.
“Overall, I think we have a strong car. If we remember the beginning of the season, we were always strong in the corners, in all types, but low and medium speed mainly because of the traction. But in Spa, Red Bull was strong in all sections. They were strong in the straights, in the corners. So we’ll wait and see, but I think it will be better”.