Ferrari reveals Leclerc's Baku F1 engine is "beyond repair"

Ferrari has revealed the Formula 1 power unit that blew up and eliminated leader Charles Leclerc in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix is “beyond repair”, setting him up for potential grid penalties.

Ferrari reveals Leclerc's Baku F1 engine is "beyond repair"

Leclerc, who had scored his sixth pole position of the season, dashed for a pitstop under a virtual safety car - induced by his team-mate Carlos Sainz retiring with a hydraulics issue - to carry a 13-second lead.

But his chances of victory went up in smoke when his engine blew to hand the win to defending champion Max Verstappen, as Ferrari lost a potential win for the third race in a row.

PLUS: Would Leclerc have won in Baku had his Ferrari survived?

The power unit used in Baku comprised a refurbished internal combustion engine, which was passed fit for use despite having been part of the configuration that failed while Leclerc led in Spain.

That retirement, which wiped out the turbo and MGU-H, left Leclerc to run in Azerbaijan with a blend of old and new components at a track with the greatest throttle demands on the calendar.

Ferrari has intimated that these carried-over parts could have caused the failure in Baku.

The Monegasque, who has not won since Australia, will now run a fully new powertrain set-up for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix after the Baku system was found to be “beyond repair”.

A Ferrari statement read: “[An] investigation confirmed Charles' Baku PU is beyond repair.

“One possible cause of the failure is that it occurred as a consequence of the PU problem in Spain.

“We are now working on countermeasures to strengthen the package and the situation is under control.”

The write-off of the Baku powertrain leaves Leclerc on the verge of at least a 10-place grid penalty as he bids to close a 34-point gap to championship leader Verstappen.

Ferrari, 80 points adrift of Red Bull, ushered in a revised powertrain specification for the Miami GP in a bid to improve reliability.

That second power unit, plus the new turbocharger for Baku, has put Leclerc up to the maximum-permitted three turbos for the season.

Charles Leclerc will soon be facing grid penalties after moving to his third power unit of 2022

Charles Leclerc will soon be facing grid penalties after moving to his third power unit of 2022

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Speaking in Montreal, Leclerc said: “Obviously we are not in the best situation possible.”

Asked to confirm the situation regarding taking a grid-place hit for Canada, he continued: “Then for the power unit change, I think there are still ongoing discussions.

“For now, no decision is taken. But yes, it’s not the best position to be in.”

Despite the long back straight potentially favouring the top-speed credentials of Red Bull, courtesy of its strong rebadged Honda engine and low-drag set-up used in Baku, Leclerc reckoned Montreal could be a good venue to take the hit because of the passing opportunities.

He said: “It’s up to us to choose the best track where you want to get a penalty, if you get a penalty.

“This is one of the tracks where it is quite easy to overtake, but there are also tracks in the next three or four races where it’s quite easy to overtake too.

“So, we’ll discuss and try to take the best decision from there.”

shares
comments

Related video

Has Ricciardo got his F1 dancing partner back at McLaren?
Previous article

Has Ricciardo got his F1 dancing partner back at McLaren?

Next article

Russell: FIA porpoising intervention "more of a sticking plaster" than real solution

Russell: FIA porpoising intervention "more of a sticking plaster" than real solution
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022