F1: Hamilton and Bottas take the W12 Mercedes around Bahrain
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Ferrari star Charles Leclerc has backed Lewis Hamilton in the face of his critics. Red Bull ace Max Verstappen has not hid his feelings as he believes Hamilton has only been able to dominate F1 for many years because he has the strongest car.
Last year the Dutchman said: “To be honest, 90 percent of the field could win in that car. Nothing against Lewis, he’s a great driver, but the car is so dominant.”
Hamilton has blown away the rest of the field in recent times and is expected to pull away from the world title record he shares with Michael Schumacher this term.
Ferrari have fallen away from the front of the grid but Leclerc is hoping to lead their resurgence.
The 23-year-old this the seven-time world champion does not need to prove his driving skills.
“I think that his resume speaks for itself,” Leclerc said. “There are still people that say he drives the best car, but I don’t think he’s in that position by chance.”
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Leclerc has had his own critics since joining the Prancing Horse and he has so far done most of his talking on the track.
“I am learning season by season that I have to answer above all to myself,” Leclerc added. “I know when I’ve done a good job and when I could have done more.
“However there are moments when you know you have given your all and that you’ve done well, but that isn’t acknowledged by the outside world, and this can be frustrating at times.”
Meanwhile, Haas owner Gene Haas is frustrated that the title chase has been very unpredictable.
He told Racer: “In 2020 when Ferrari had a reduction in their horsepower, it was pretty obvious that all of the Ferrari engine cars had horsepower deficits compared to Mercedes, Honda and Renault.
“Our boat’s tied to the Ferrari ship, so when they’re going slow we’re going even slower – I don’t think there’s much you can do about that.
“We have no control over the parts that we obtain from Ferrari. We have faith that Ferrari can fix the problem.
“And not only does Ferrari have this problem, but so does Honda and Renault – everyone’s at a deficit to the Mercedes engine.
“They built an extremely high performance, high fuel efficiency, durable engine that no other team’s been able to come close to.
“To me, it’s really killed what Formula One’s all about.
“More power to Mercedes for being able to dominate so much of the thing, but who wants to go to a race when you know who’s going to win every friggin’ race that’s out there? That just gets boring.”
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