Leclerc hit with 10-place grid penalty for Canadian GP

Charles Leclerc will take a 10-place grid penalty for the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix after Ferrari opted to take a fresh control electronics element on his power unit.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Leclerc was forced to retire from last Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix while leading the race after a failure on his engine that Ferrari has since confirmed left it “beyond repair”.

It was the latest reliability setback for Leclerc in a tricky period that also featured him retiring when leading in Spain due to a problem on his power unit, leaving Ferrari facing potential grid penalties.

Ahead of Friday’s practice for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, the FIA confirmed Ferrari had taken a fresh engine, MGU-H, MGU-K, and control electronics, all within his season allocation.

But following the conclusion of FP2, a second document from the FIA confirmed that Leclerc had taken another new control electronics, his third of the year.

As this exceeds the season limit of two control electronics, it has triggered a 10-place grid drop that Leclerc will take on Sunday.

The primary concern ahead of the weekend lay with Leclerc’s turbocharger after the fresh one introduced in Azerbaijan was wiped out by the power unit failure. However, he still has a usable one within his season pool that meant no change has been required so far.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Speaking this morning, Leclerc conceded it was “not the best position to be in” facing penalties so early in the season.

“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,” Leclerc said.

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Although Max Verstappen topped both FP1 and FP2 for Red Bull on Friday in Montreal, Leclerc managed to the end the day second-fastest, just 0.081 seconds shy of the best time in the afternoon.

While he will currently only drop 10 places, Ferrari could look to take advantage of the setback and introduce other new parts to the pool if it deems a back-of-grid start to be worthwhile.

AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda is already confirmed to be starting the race from the rear of the field after the team took a complete new power unit for the weekend.

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