Charles Leclerc arrived in Montreal facing a 10-place grid penalty with reports saying the driver will take his fourth turbocharger of the season at the Canadian Grand Prix.
That means an automatic grid penalty the moment it is fitted to his F1-75.
Having raced out to a 34-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship after his second win of this season in Australia, Leclerc’s fortunes have since suffered one blow after the other.
From a driver mistake to a team pit strategy blunder, Leclerc’s efforts also haven’t been helped by two retirements, the later of which came in Baku.
An engine failure while running P1 means the Monégasque driver is now 34 points behind in the standings having once led by that same margin.
And he is likely to make inroads on his deficit to Max Verstappen in Montreal as he faces a 10-place grid penalty.
According to Formu1a Uno, the driver will take a “completely new PU3, and the fourth turbo with a 10-position penalty”.
Ferrari have yet to revealing their plans with Motorsport.com saying they may yet repair his turbocharged, if they can, or fit an old one into his new PU.
‘Ferrari could try to restore the third turbo after all, but this is considered extremely unlikely due to what happened in Baku,’ read the report. ‘And secondly, there would be the possibility of integrating the turbo from the beginning of the season into the third power unit that Leclerc will take in Montreal.’
But while putting his first turbo of the season into ‘power unit number three is not only a complex operation, it is also not advantageous for other reasons. As a result, it would no longer be possible to continue the rotation of the power units for the free practice sessions on Friday, as is the case with all teams.’
‘In addition, one can question the reliability of an old turbocharger, which was used on all Fridays in addition to the first four races of the season plus Monaco and thus already has a high mileage. Not an ideal scenario for Canada either, as engine performance is an important factor at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.’
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto admitted he was worried about the reliability of the Ferrari PU, four Ferrari-powered cars out of the Baku race.
Carlos Sainz’s retirement, though, was a hydraulic leak with Ferrari having already implemented a short-term fix for that.
“Certainly it’s a concern,” Binotto told Sky F1 after the race. “I think we said it even before coming here to Baku. Reliability is always a factor which is a key factor in the battle as [well as] the performance.
“I think as a team we pushed certainly a lot through the winter last year to develop the car, [but] we proved that we are not yet fully reliable.
“There is still some work to be done, but as I think we didn’t get euphoric at the start to the season, we will not be devastated right now.
“I think the team will stay focused, working hard trying to address those issues to make us simply stronger for the future.”
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