Leclerc set for further blow with grid penalty on the horizon

Charles Leclerc set for further blow as he faces a 10-place grid PENALTY either at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix or at Silverstone… as the Ferrari star’s failed power unit from Baku cannot be repaired

  • Charles Leclerc was forced into retirement in Baku while leading the race 
  • It was the Ferrari driver’s second mechanical retirement in just three races 
  • Leclerc now faces the prospect of a 10-place grid penalty at Montreal
  • Ferrari though could decide to wait to Silverstone to take the grid penalty 

Charles Leclerc faces a 10-place grid penalty here at Montreal or at Silverstone in a fortnight, after Ferrari confirmed his failed power unit from Azerbaijan last weekend cannot be repaired.

The Monegasque was forced into retirement in Baku while leading, his third DNF of a fast but frustrating season. He is now 34 points behind championship leader Max Verstappen — an 80-point swing in five races.

Hinting at further gloom, Leclerc said: ‘Obviously we’re not in the best situation possible. As for the power unit change, discussions are ongoing on where to do it.’

Charles Leclerc faces a grid penalty potentially at this weekend’s race or at the British GP

The Ferrari driver suffered a reliability issue with his power unit which forced him out in Baku

Leclerc began practice on Friday in bright sunshine without taking on a new power unit, but may yet opt to make the switch before Sunday’s race on the 2.7-mile Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. 

The luckless 24-year-old, who even missed his intended flight from Nice en route to Montreal, said: ‘It’s up to us to choose the best track to take a penalty. 

‘Montreal is one of the places where it’s quite easy to overtake but there are others in the next three or four races where it’s the same or easier to overtake. We’ll take the decision on this basis.’

Ferrari believe Leclerc’s retirement a week ago may have been a consequence of the fault that ended his participation in the Spanish Grand Prix last month, also while he was leading.

A team spokesman said: ‘We are working on counter-measures to strengthen the package and the situation is under control.’

Leclerc began practice in Montreal on Friday without taking on a new power unit in his Ferrari

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