Bernie Ecclestone has warned against betting on Charles Leclerc and Ferrari for the 2022 championship. The former Formula 1 supremo feels Max Verstappen and Red Bull will cruise to both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles respectively.
Ferrari started the 2022 season in fine form winning two of the opening three races, but they have since struggled to keep pace with Red Bull. A string of reliability issues has seen Leclerc, who was 46 points ahead of Verstappen at one stage, drop 49 points behind the Dutch racer.
Leclerc has been in imperious form this season, taking six pole positions in nine races, but Ferrari’s reliability woes have dented his title chances. The Monegasque suffered power unit failures while leading in Spain and Azerbaijan, and a Ferrari strategy error robbed him of a home win in Monaco.
The multiple DNF’s suffered by Leclerc and teammate Carlos Sainz have seen Ferrari drop 76 points behind Red Bull in the Constructors’ race. While Ecclestone has always maintained that a competitive Ferrari is good for the sport, he sees them getting back to their old ways.
Ferrari have not won a championship since 2008, and while the 91-year-old would love to see the legendary red team triumph, he feels Verstappen will win his second consecutive Drivers’ championship in 2022. Ecclestone feels the reliability woes will see the drivers, Leclerc and Sainz, fail to be at their best.
“Errors are creeping in again,” Ecclestone said, as quoted on Sports Mole. “The reliability we are seeing is often reminiscent of the old days and the drivers themselves are not always confident on the track.”
“It means Max is having an easy time in the Red Bull with six wins already.”
“Like many people, I had hoped that Ferrari would succeed again after more than 14 years,” he added. “Unfortunately, I have to say that anyone who continues to put their money on Ferrari or Leclerc will get nothing.”
The 2022 F1 world championship still has 13 races to run, and Leclerc is confident that Ferrari can mount a fightback. The 24-year-old feels it is just a matter of two wins, and he can pull back the mammoth 49-point deficit to Verstappen.