Lewis Hamiltons hopes for an eighth title this season written off by Charles Leclerc

Mercedes: What’s gone wrong at the F1 and can they recover?

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Lewis Hamilton is unlikely to win the F1 title this season, according to current leader Charles Leclerc. The Ferrari star claimed Mercedes will not triumph in the drivers’ or constructors’ crowns this season but could ‘win races at some time’ soon.

He said it was hard to write off the Silver Arrows but said they appear to have ‘quite big issues’. The Monegasque has warned it could take some time for the German manufacturer to get on top of its issues before it can challenge the frontrunners once again.

Speaking to CNN, Leclerc said: “I never write them off because they are such a strong team and they have showed it in the past. But it is also true that they are struggling since the beginning of the season and they seem to have quite big issues that will require a bit of the time before they fix them.

“So I don‘t know. Maybe not for the championship this year, but I am pretty sure they will win races at some time in the season.”

Mercedes were the third-fastest car on the grid during the opening few races but appeared to go backwards at Imola. Both drivers were unable to escape Q2 and were unable to work their way through the field during Saturday’s sprint race.

Hamilton finished Sunday’s Grand Prix 13th, just weeks on from his 10th place finish in Saudi Arabia. The poor results leave the seven-time champion over 50 points behind Leclerc in the standings.

Meanwhile, the Ferrari star has won half of all the races this season. The 24-year-old still enjoys a commanding 27 point lead over Max Verstappen despite a late spin at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

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Leclerc added: “I love my job, love driving, this was what I always dreamt to do. And now I am in Formula 1 with the best team in the world in my opinion, Ferrari, fighting for wins, life is great!

“I am definitely going to the track with a big smile on my face. Because I am obviously in a much happier place than last year. Going to the track and knowing you have the opportunity to win feels amazing.”

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