Charles Leclerc is a serious candidate to win the drivers' championship for the 2022 Formula 1 season, as well as being the main leader of the Italian team heading into the fight for the constructors' championship. The Monegasque driver was stronger than ever in the fight against the one-time world champion, Max Verstappen, at the beginning of the season, however, many problems have led him to be in second position in the championship (behind the Dutchman) with 178 points, and a difference of 80 points with respect to the leader. We are talking about reliability problems in their F1-75, driver errors (as happened in the French Grand Prix), strategic errors on the part of Ferrari (as in the Hungarian Grand Prix), among other things. For Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, it has been impressive how the Monegasque driver has controlled himself despite a frustrating season at Ferrari for him.
“I have a great deal of respect for the way he’s conducted himself. And again, the way that he’s racing on track, he’s hard but fair and I think the racing between the two guys [Leclerc and Verstappen]… there’s a lot of hard racing between the two of them in the first half of this championship, but there hasn’t been a single touch. It’s great to see and it’s enjoyable to be part of.” The British commented.
“There’s not one ounce of me that wishes that [Ferrari was better]! Last year was a heavyweight bought that went 22 rounds and I’d prefer not to have to go through that again.”
The Red Bull team principal recalled the intense fight that Max Verstappen had against the seven-time world champion during the 2021 Formula 1 season, where the drivers' championship was decided on the last lap of the last Grand Prix. It was an uphill battle that the Red Bull driver ended up winning, so Horner said he hopes this battle will be won a little easier.
“The points tables look healthy and it’s a great way to sign off into the summer break but there’s still a lot of racing to go. Ferrari are quick, Mercedes are coming back into the game. There’s still a long, long way to go in this championship -plus a Sprint race- so we don’t take anything for granted. There’s still a lot of racing to do and at very different venues.” The British team principal commented. In terms of bad strategies made by the Italians, Horner affirmed:
“We try to focus on ourselves. Ferrari’s got a very quick car, they’ve got two good drivers, but they box themselves into a corner strategically.”
When asked about the hypothetic scenario of Ferrari’s strategists running races for Red Bull like they have been doing for Ferrari, Christian commented: “They’re not my strategists and I don’t speak Italian.” He joked. “I feel a lot of respect for him [Charles].”