Charles Leclerc’s first DNF of the season at the 2022 Spanish F1 GP could be the first sign of a rift in Ferrari’s armour, according to ex-driver-turned-analyst David Coulthard.
Coulthard, who has raced 247 times in F1 with Williams, McLaren and Red Bull, believes Leclerc’s reliability issues at Barcelona could be a worrying sign for the Scuderia.
Talk to Channel 4 After the race at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Scotsman said:
“I think what will define this World Championship, not just the sheer pace and rate of development, is reliability. Red Bull have had issues with DRS [in Barcelona]Ferrari showed that they had problems with the powertrain – not only on the Ferrari but also on the Alfa Romeo of [Guanyu] Zhou. So, is this the first rift in the armor? Mercedes were also pulling back their drivers at the end, it was hot here, but there will be plenty of other hot races.
Coulthard also weighed in on the current driver hierarchy at the Scuderia between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. The 51-year-old said:
“It may be that this car regulation for Carlos [Sainz] widen the gap with Charles [Leclerc] a little. It feels like he’s number one minus [at Ferrari] – I don’t want to say he’s the number two driver, but when a Ferrari comes out on top, most often it’s Charles.
Leclerc and Ferrari had to give up their lead in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championship standings respectively due to their reliability issues in Spain.
Ferrari boss chooses to remain optimistic after Charles Leclerc’s DNF at Barcelona
Despite Charles Leclerc’s untimely retirement in the 2022 F1 Spanish GP, Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto has opted to remain positive about his team’s chances of moving forward in the 2022 campaign.
Talk to Sky F1 After the race at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Italian team principal shared his thoughts saying:
“I think in the end we have to stay optimistic. It’s been a positive weekend overall in the way we’ve made improvements, the car has been fast, we’ve had a fantastic pole on Saturday and the race pace was excellent today, after a few races where we struggled with tire wear and degradation, today at least we were pretty fast.
After the disappointment in Spain, Leclerc is hoping for better luck in front of a home crowd at the Monaco GP, a race he hasn’t been able to complete in his F1 career so far.