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Leclerc faces grid penalty in Canada after Baku blow

17 June 2022 - 20:34 By Reuters
Charles Leclerc talks to the media in the Paddock prior to practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 17, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec.
Charles Leclerc talks to the media in the Paddock prior to practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 17, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec.
Image: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Charles Leclerc will have a 10-place grid drop at Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix after Ferrari triggered a penalty by replacing a power unit component on his car.

The governing FIA said the team had replaced the control electronics for a third time, one more than allowed for the season.

They had earlier replaced the internal combustion engine, control electronics and motor generators before the start of practice at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Leclerc has retired due to power unit problems in two of the past three races while leading, despite starting from pole position in the last four rounds.

Ferrari said a power unit that failed in Azerbaijan last Sunday was damaged beyond repair and the problem may have been linked to an earlier one at the Spanish Grand Prix.

A spokesperson said the team were working on “countermeasures” to strengthen the package.

Leclerc has plunged from Formula One championship front-runner after three races to third overall, 34 points adrift of Red Bull's Max Verstappen, after eight of 22 rounds.

The Monegasque told reporters earlier that Canada was not a bad place to take a penalty, given that overtaking is comparatively easy.

Team mate Carlos Sainz also retired from the race in Baku, but with a hydraulics problem that he said was a “bit weird” and “that hadn't been experienced” for some years.

“It's a failure that the team believes is pretty easy to solve and move on from,” said the Spaniard. “It happened to me, which is unfortunate, but I am not worried. The team seem pretty calm and confident that it should not happen again.”


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