Leclerc remains confident about F1 title hopes after Canada recovery

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Charles Leclerc remains confident about his Formula 1 title hopes after recovering to fifth at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Recent power unit-related retirements in Spain and Baku resulted in a grid penalty for the Monegasque in Montreal for new components.

And despite moments of frustration, a late Safety Car allowed Leclerc to maximise his comeback through the field.

“I think with the pit stop it put us a bit in a bad situation as we cleared the DRS train then got another DRS train and it cost me a bit at the end,” he said.

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“But overall it was a race I had to be patient, I was stuck behind Esteban [Ocon] who had new tyres and was very good at Turn 10, whenever I had free air I think the pace was really good but it’s like this.

"The last part was nice, we finished fifth which is the best position considering everything that happened today."

Teammate Carlos Sainz went head-to-head with Max Verstappen for victory at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, with the Dutchman coming out on top.

And Leclerc was sure he could have been part of that battle without the penalty.

"I never saw a Red Bull the whole race they were too far ahead, but overall, the feeling was good," he explained.

"The pace is quite close. I felt like Carlos was strong today, so this shows that it would have been close as it was with Carlos today.

"I don't have the full picture of the race today. Red Bull looked strong. They [Mercedes] looked stronger than before and if they are consistently at this level they can join this battle for the wins."

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A run of five wins in six races has seen Verstappen open up a 49-point advantage over Leclerc, a swing of 95 points since Australia.

But the Ferrari driver is certain a fightback remains possible.

“Yes, yes. I think reliability seems to be a concern for everyone this season," he claimed.

“If we fix our reliability the performance is there to come back so already from Silverstone we will try to get a few points back.”