Charles Leclerc accepted all the blame for an "unacceptable" crash at the French Grand Prix as Ferrari suffered the misery of seeing the race leader blow a chance of victory.

The 24-year-old from Monaco sent his car into a wall of tyres of Turn 11 at Circuit Paul Ricard on lap 18, having started on pole position.

He had been chasing a fourth win of the season and was set to narrow the gap to championship leader Max Verstappen.

Yet Verstappen took advantage of Leclerc's blunder to win the race and tighten his grip on first place in the drivers' standings.

A regretful Leclerc said: "I think I'm performing at the highest level of my career, but if I keep doing those mistakes then it's pointless to perform at a very high level.

"I'm losing too many points: seven in Imola, 25 here, because honestly we were probably the strongest car on track today.

"If we lost the championship by 32 points at the end of the season I will know where they are coming from, and it's unacceptable."

He said he would go away and look again at what went wrong, but Leclerc had little doubt it was all on him.

"I'll try to understand if there's nothing I don't know yet, but to me, it's a mistake," he said.

"It's just trying to push too much, and then I lost the rear. It's been a very difficult weekend for me, I struggled a lot with the balance of the car.

"When it's warm like this, it's very difficult to be consistent, and I've been [finding it] very difficult to put laps together, and I did a mistake at the wrong moment."