Leclerc won't 'point the finger' for Ferrari's problems but feels 'responsible' to fix them

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Charles Leclerc won't "point the finger" for Ferrari's problems but does feel "responsible" in helping to solve them.

After pushing Mercedes in the second half of 2019, the Italian team has slipped back considerably this season, battling with Racing Point, Renault and McLaren in the upper midfield.

That failure has put a lot of pressure on team boss Mattia Binotto and others within Ferrari, with chairman John Elkann ruling out victories before 2022.

However, Leclerc believes playing the blame game is the wrong approach. 

“I don’t think it would be right to point the finger at one particular thing," he said.

"I think just as a team we haven’t done a great job this year and we need to try and catch back that performance by working in the best way possible, which is what we are doing.

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“Everyone is trying to push as much as possible at the factory, and as drivers, Sebastian and I are trying to give the best feedback possible to get back to where we want to be.

“To point the finger at one thing particularly I don’t feel is the right way, but we are all definitely trying to sort out these issues.”

As for where Ferrari is lacking performance the most compared to their rivals most have pointed to a significant loss in engine performance as a result of FIA technical directives issued last year.

But Leclerc also admits it goes deeper.

“What are we missing? It is difficult to focus on one thing, it is a general problem,” he said.

“We have seen that in the rain it is difficult, but in the dry, we struggled a little more in Sector 1 of Austria where there are more straights.

“So it’s not just one thing only because otherwise in the wet we would be much better, instead it wasn’t like that and therefore we have to work on a general package to make a better step”.

With Vettel leaving, likely for Aston Martin, at the end of the season, Leclerc is now stepping up into the lead driver role at Ferrari, with many expecting him to be favoured over his 2021 teammate Carlos Sainz.

And the 22-year-old does feel a burden to try and push the Scuderia back to where they feel they belong at the front.

“The red car, even before I knew it was called Ferrari, was my obsession, ” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“An honour certainly. And also a great responsibility because Ferrari remains Ferrari. It was a dream to get here, and I am aware that it is the dream of many to arrive in Maranello.

“So I feel responsible for bringing Ferrari’s name higher up. This moment is not easy on the track, there is a lot of work to do.

“But it is interesting to have such a long common project. Let's work hard and try to build something interesting, a new cycle.

“Certainly driving a Ferrari is, at the same time, a dream come true, a huge responsibility and a great honour.”