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Todt: Leclerc still missing something

The former Ferrari F1 team principal thinks there's still room for Leclerc and his former team to grow.

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Former FIA President Jean Todt believes Charles Leclerc must take another step forward if he is to achieve his goal of becoming Formula 1 World Champion.

The Monegasque finds himself 116 points back of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ Standings with just six races remaining, meaning a first career F1 title will likely have to wait another season.

The 2022 campaign started so well for Leclerc, who won two of the opening three races to open up a 46-point gap over the Dutchman. However, since then, Red Bull and Verstappen have established themselves as the team to beat.

With the title all but certain to go to Verstappen for a second consecutive season, Todt thinks there is still room for Leclerc to grow if he wants to win F1’s ultimate prize.

“Charles is already a big star,” Todt said at the Festival dello Sport in Trento. “He’s still missing something, but I hope he’ll have it soon.

“Is it because of the car? He’s still missing something.”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after coming second in the 2022 Italian Grand Prix REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

Todt put some of the blame on Ferrari

Although Leclerc has made a few errors in 2022, his title hopes have largely been derailed by several key mistakes by Ferrari.

Whether it’s reliability or poor strategy, the Monegasque’s failed push for the title hasn’t solely fallen on his shoulders, something which Todt recognised.

“The Scuderia had the best car on the grid at one point,” said Todt. “Then they wasted some opportunities, whether it was due to strategy, a Safety Car that came out at the wrong time, or reliability.

“It was a variety of factors that have added up. They have to reflect on that in order to avoid a repeat. You can’t leave anything to chance.

“That’s the only way you can have all the ingredients you need to win. You need to be at the top at all levels. It’s all about the details, even those that pick up the phone at the office.”

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