Brundle: Leclerc is as bruised as Hamilton’s back

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Ferrari's Charles Leclerc ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Baku, June 2022.

Martin Brundle believes Charles Leclerc will be feeling “bruised” by his recent run of bad luck after four consecutive pole positions.

Leclerc will be “beside himself” after his recent run of excellent driving and pole positions has resulted in scant reward due to factors outside of his own control, according to Sky’s Brundle.

The Monegasque has taken pole position for the last four grands prix, only for various things to go wrong and prevent him from claiming victory. In Miami, he was overtaken by the faster Red Bull of Max Verstappen before retiring from the lead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

A strategy faux pas from Ferrari resulted in a fourth-place finish for Leclerc in Monaco, only for the Monegasque to be hit by another catastrophic engine failure in Baku.

After such a dismal run of results due to problems not of his making, Brundle said it is hard not to feel sorry for the former championship leader.

“We are into the thick of a 22-race season, races are coming relentlessly at us,” he told Sky Sports.

“If you’ve got one big issue, you go and fix it, but there are various gremlins Ferrari are having.

“Leclerc must be beside himself. He could have had four glorious victories. He’s sticking the car on pole position, driving beautifully, and then this kind of thing (engine failure) is happening to him just way too much.”

Given the strength of the bond between Ferrari and Leclerc, with the Scuderia backing him through his junior career before helping him to make the leap to F1, Brundle said the relationship is taking a battering similar to the physical ordeal Lewis Hamilton is suffering when he drives his W13.

“Reliability is costing him heavily now, a chance at becoming World Champion,” he continued.

“Strategy cost him in Monaco of a chance of a glorious victory in his home town. He loves Ferrari and Ferrari love him, in a way that, the last time I saw something like that, was between Michael Schumacher and the Ferrari team.

“There’s an awful lot of love to burn through there but right now, Leclerc must be feeling as bruised as Lewis’ back.”

Brundle recently also said he believes the relationship between Leclerc and Ferrari is being “severely tested” in light of the problems, especially given there is no easy escape for the Monegasque should Ferrari be unable to give him a car capable of a sustained championship fight.

Leclerc is on a long-term deal with Ferrari, keeping him at Maranello until the end of the 2024 season.

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