Not involved in the Formula 1 World Championship race for the first time in many years, Lewis Hamilton at least appears interested in who is leading and gives his big prediction for who might be champion with some advice for Ferrari.
After Max Verstappen’s victory at Le Castellet and Charles Leclerc’s retirement, the British driver said that the Dutchman had done a great deal of the work for the title and thought he will now maintain the lead to the end.
Used to fighting for the world championship title more often than not since the beginning of his career, Lewis Hamilton is now experiencing a much more complicated F1 season. Unlike Red Bull and Ferrari, Mercedes has missed the boat on the new regulations introduced by the FIA. As a result, Lewis Hamilton’s car is performing worse than those of Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, the championship leaders. Despite this, the British driver’s latest outings have been compelling as he has just secured four podiums in a row as his team has been fortunate with their Sundays’ despite some uncertain car updates. Even if he is now resigned from the title race, Lewis Hamilton is watching the duel between Verstappen and Leclerc.
And for the moment, it is Max Verstappen who is managing his advantage. After his victory at the French Grand Prix, the reigning world champion has taken a 63-point lead over Charles Leclerc.
“We had a very good pace from the start, I was putting pressure on Charles, but the tyres were overheating as I followed him. I was able to make one attack at Turn 11, but I tried to stay calm and close to him because we stopped before, and you never know how the race will turn out,
“The car was fast today, it’s unfortunate for Charles, I hope he’s OK. I always try to get the maximum points, and sometimes you have to wait until the end of the race. That’s what I did here, and the season is still long. We’ve got a bit of work to do on a lap, so we’ll keep working,” said Verstappen after his success at the Paul Ricard circuit.
For his part, Charles Leclerc had a much less rosy afternoon. The Ferrari driver started from pole position but crashed on the 18th lap. After the race, the Monegasque expressed his enormous frustration, blaming himself despite some evidence that suggests that his car might’ve been at fault.
“I haven’t seen the data yet, I don’t know if I had a throttle problem but I don’t think so. It was my fault. I just didn’t manage to put it in reverse but that’s a detail. If I continue like this, I don’t deserve this title. If I am 25-30 points short at the end of the season for the title, between my mistake at Imola and this one, I can only blame myself,” said Charles Leclerc.
In second at the French Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton continues his improved form and when asked about this season’s title race, the British driver was frank.
“I’m gutted for Charles. He did a great job. But it’s not easy to have this performance and this pace and to be able to maintain it. I feel sorry for the whole team because I know what it can do,
“It’s a huge gap to Max, so it’s pretty fluid for him, Max looks to be the one to do it. But a lot of things can go wrong. I would just advise Ferrari to keep their heads down and keep pushing,” Hamilton said.