And then suddenly his engine broke down.
Once Leclack’s blistered Ferrari began to slow down, he began to shout, ‘No! No! No! ‘ Through his team radio.
Once back in the bright Ferrari garage, it was done for the day. A lone Leclerc took off his helmet, and his mechanics pressed on his back.
His race is over, and his points lead is gone.
Worstapen returned to the top of the F1 standings after his third consecutive win, when Leclerc failed to finish and now trailed Worstapen by six points.
“I lost the engine and had to stop. I still don’t know what the problem is but it hurts, ”Leclerc said. “We showed that we were very fast, but we have to look at this engine problem so that it doesn’t happen again this year.”
Ferrari said Leclerc’s car suffered a “problem” with an “unknown” power unit. The Italian team tweeted that the results of the race were “heartbreaking”.
“The car performed well, the speed was good,” said Ferrari team captain Matia Binotto. “We had this problem of reliability that we need to analyze and solve, but the season is long and we have a car that is very strong.”
Verstappen’s hat-trick of consecutive victories in Emola, Miami and Barcelona helped him close the 46-point deficit to Leclerc after Leclerc’s win in Australia, his second win in the first three races of the season.
Ferrari has done better than the Red Bull this year in keeping its cars on track; Worstapen’s Red Bull has disappointed him twice this season and he has failed to finish in Bahrain or Australia – both races have been won by Leclerc.
On Sunday, Verstappen’s chances of winning were dashed by another error. This time it was with its DRS flap, which should open directly as soon as a driver tries to pass. Worstapen was controversial all weekend – the same problem prevented him from challenging Leclerc for the pole to qualify – and it stuck him on Sunday when he recovered from a trip off course.
Leclerc’s fall gave Verstappen a chance to snatch a victory that seemed certain to him. After Verstappen gave the Red Bull a one-two lead, teammate Sergio Perez obeyed the team’s order to pass him and win.
Leclerc put himself in a polar position after breaking a great final lap in Saturday’s qualifiers. His main concern for the race was the high temperature of 36 Celsius (96 Fahrenheit) which would make the tire track harder.
Before the race, he gave his recipe for a win: “Good start, good tire management and finish first.”
Two out of three is not enough.
The title fight next weekend will go to Leclerc’s home race in Monaco with the Mediterranean kingdom’s iconic street circuit.
“Monaco (next weekend) is important, but so was this race, and so is every race,” Leclerc said. “We’re fighting for the championship.”
Ferrari is looking for its first drivers title since Kimi Rকikkেনnen won in 2007.
Leclerc is his best bet of the year – if he can get a reliable car.
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