Ferrari: No warning of Leclerc’s "sudden" Spain F1 power unit failure

Ferrari says the power unit failure that put Charles Leclerc out of Formula 1’s Spanish Grand Prix came out of the blue, with no prior warning of problems.

Ferrari: No warning of Leclerc’s "sudden" Spain F1 power unit failure

Leclerc had looked on course to take victory in Barcelona as he held a comfortable lead in the opening phase of the race, after title rival Max Verstappen had lost time with a trip across the gravel and dropped down the order.

But on lap 27, as he held an advantage of more than 11 seconds, Leclerc suddenly slowed when his car lost power under acceleration halfway around the lap.

The Monegasque immediately headed for the pits and was out of the race, handing Verstappen the opportunity to go on and take a win that has moved him to the top of the F1 drivers’ standings.

Ferrari does not yet have an answer as to what went wrong with Leclerc’s power unit to cause the stoppage, and wants to wait until investigations at its Maranello headquarters are complete before offering a proper explanation.

However, team principal Mattia Binotto has confirmed that the issue was not something that the team had been managing, as it caught the squad by surprise.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, George Russell, Mercedes W13, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, the rest of the field away at the start

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, George Russell, Mercedes W13, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, the rest of the field away at the start

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

“It was a sudden issue,” he said. “I think we learned it first from Charles, first going on to the radio, and then from the engineers looking at the data. So it was really sudden.

“We do not have yet an explanation. So the power unit will be [sent] back to Maranello, travelling during the night, and we will disassemble it tomorrow morning.”

After two events where Ferrari had been caught out by worse tyre wear than Red Bull, Leclerc reckoned that things were very different this time around and the team had everything under control.

Asked if he felt without the failure he would have gone on for a straightforward win, he said: “With the laps I had done, honestly, everything was going really, really well.

“I think it would have been difficult for them to catch back because obviously there was already quite a bit of a gap, and we had a very good degradation also on the soft tyre.

"We could do quite a few more laps compared to them. So yeah, overall, I think we had the race under control.”

shares
comments
Verstappen: F1 Spanish GP Turn 4 error "really caught me by surprise"
Previous article

Verstappen: F1 Spanish GP Turn 4 error "really caught me by surprise"

Next article

F1 warns Spanish GP to fix 'unacceptable' traffic issues

F1 warns Spanish GP to fix 'unacceptable' traffic issues
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships Plus

The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships

OPINION: Ferrari's Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week's Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2022
The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision Plus

The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision

OPINION: Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2022 and will, rather shockingly, be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin. But what about the final chapter of the other driver that defined the post-Michael Schumacher era? In Hungary, Lewis Hamilton spoke about his future in the context of Vettel’s upcoming departure, which offered clues on how long it will last

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022
Why all signs point to F1’s Monaco special relationship continuing Plus

Why all signs point to F1’s Monaco special relationship continuing

OPINION: With more potential venues than there are slots in future calendars, rumours have been circulating that the Monaco Grand Prix could be a casualty of F1’s expansion into new markets. But MARK GALLAGHER thinks this is highly unlikely

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022