Jul.26 - The French GP only reinforced the "big difference" between 2022 title challenger Charles Leclerc and Formula 1's reigning champion Max Verstappen.

That is the view of outspoken 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, but even the highly partisan Italian press agrees that mistakes look set to cost Ferrari this year's world championship.

"No one is perfect," read an editorial at Corriere dello Sport, "but the title always goes to the one who makes the fewest mistakes.

Leclerc mistake a 'pity' for the F1 title duel says Red Bull

Mattia Binotto and Charles Leclerc

"Leclerc's insecurity is also becoming an issue for the entire team, because while an insecure champion can be a great driver, he will not be a great leader.

"Verstappen has a huge advantage now and is confidently heading for his second title," the Italian sports newspaper added.

La Gazzetta dello Sport agrees: "To become a champion, you can't make these mistakes.

"Verstappen learned from mistakes in the past and became a flawless driver over time. Now Leclerc is on that path."

According to Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto, however, Leclerc's crash from the lead on Sunday is already in the past.

"There's no reason why we shouldn't win the last ten races," he insists. "I'm very positive because of the package we have.

"We know that our basic concept is good and we've also been able to develop the car very well," Binotto added.

"The team has made very brave decisions since the winter, bringing innovations that actually work."

Indeed, Verstappen and Red Bull are nervous about the tight and twisty Hungaroring layout this weekend, particularly with the introduction of Ferrari's new floor.

"We introduced a new floor that is supposed to improve performance but also eliminate the bouncing," Binotto said.

"It was difficult to test so far because Paul Ricard has fairly smooth asphalt."

According to Dutch F1 GP boss Jan Lammers, however, the problem is not just Leclerc, but also the Ferrari organisation.

"There is some truth in Binotto's statement that they can win the next ten races," he told NOS. "The only thing I miss is the sense of responsibility at Ferrari.

"You can see it with Leclerc which is admirable, but it's just been a feast of mistakes by Ferrari," the former F1 driver added.

"But Max isn't just playing the underdog role by saying Ferrari still has the stronger car."

Villeneuve: Crisis 'will hit small teams' hard

Jacques Villeneuve

From Villeneuve's perspective, Leclerc's admission of responsibility for the Paul Ricard crash simply isn't enough.

"I don't really understand, because in Austria he withstood the pressure. But that's just the big difference between Leclerc and Verstappen," the Canadian told the Dutch publication Formule 1.

"These things just don't happen with Max. If he is beaten by Leclerc, he usually finishes second and so that big points gap is not going to be easy to shrink.

"We now have a championship with basically equal cars, but one of them has a big lead. It's the best example of how a championship is won and lost."

Verstappen now leads Leclerc by 63 points in the 2022 drivers' championship after 12 rounds. If Leclerc manages to win all 10 races from now on and he scores the extra point for the fastest lap, then he will score 260 points. His total will then be 430 points. Verstappen will score 180 points, if he finishes second in the last 10 races and will have 413 points...

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14 F1 Fan comments on “Is Leclerc not ready to win the F1 title this season?

    • Matthew Yacoub

      Leclerc is talented no doubt but I feel like Leclerc is similar spot to Seb both are at Ferrari team that dosen't run smooth while battling a team that makes no mistakes it forces you too drive faster which cause mistakes if Leclerc were in Red bull he would be very close to Verstappen because he wouldn't be forced into error Ferrari have had Alonso. Seb and Leclerc if they can't win with them then maybe the team is the reason

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  1. Teresa Bailey

    Charles needs more mental toughness and discipline. Max had his anger issues too but got focused. So did Hamilton and every great driver who grew into a champion. Sainz will get there with time also. I feel Charles has flashes of the best talent but is careless and emotional and loses focus. JV is spot on. Anyone who can win Indy 500 from two laps down and become World F1 champion has extreme focus. He had more than his celebrated father for sure.

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    • Donalf

      Yes I agree, CL has wn a few races this year but also lost a few mostly from his own mistakes, making me think he knows he can do it but gets so excited when MV is behind or sir Lulu come to that he doesn't seem to be able to hold it together and maybe panics a little,, how do you tell an F1 driver to relax and not panic?

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  2. Jere Jyrälä

    Seemingly, yes & easier said than done concerning Binotto's statement, especially as winning the championship isn't entirely in Leclerc's control anymore.
    Even if he'd win all remaining races + Brazil Sprint, he could still finish the season behind in points if Max finished 2nd each time with the FLAP bonus point.
    In this scenario, their final gap would be 2 points in Max's favor, so this theoretical equation shows how bad Leclerc's situation has got championship chance & hope-wise.

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