Canadian Grand Prix: Charles Leclerc to start on back row of grid after taking new power unit

by 24britishtvJune 18, 2022, 8:01 p.m. 15
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Canadian Grand Prix: Charles Leclerc to start on back row of grid after taking new power unit

Charles Leclerc will start on the back row of the grid for Sunday's Canadian GP after it was confirmed Ferrari have taken a completely new power unit.

Leclerc had already taken a 10-place grid penalty at this weekend's Canadian GP after Ferrari confirmed his failed power unit from the Azerbaijan GP is "beyond repair".

However, the FIA announced on Saturday that the Ferrari driver will use a number of new power unit components for the remainder of the weekend, meaning he will start on the back row of the grid for Sunday's race in Montreal.

Leclerc will line up alongside AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda, who has also had a new engine fitted.

Leclerc's Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz has also taken a new internal combustion unit, which is his third and final of the season, which means he is not subject to any penalty.

Leclerc's DNF in Baku last weekend marked the second time in three races that he had retired from the lead following a devastating engine failure in Barcelona last month, and the team confirmed that the two incidents may have been related.

The concern leading into Friday's two practice sessions in Montreal was Leclerc would have to use a fourth turbocharger, which would take him beyond the three permitted for the season under the regulations.
• Canadian GP: Get ready for a later start on Sky Sports!

However, the FIA confirmed at the end of Practice Two that the Monegasque driver has instead incurred the 10-place penalty for Sunday's race due to a new control electronics element being installed - his third of the year. Only two changes of control electronics are permitted throughout the season.

"Investigation confirmed Charles' Baku PU is beyond repair," a Ferrari statement said.

"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."

A strong start to the season that saw Leclerc win two of the first three races helped him open up a 46-point lead over Verstappen, but his Sunday struggles since then - despite taking pole at each of the last four races - have enabled the Dutchman to establish a 34-point advantage in their contest.

Speaking at his press conference on Friday shortly after Ferrari's announcement, Leclerc confirmed that the fact Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has plenty of overtaking opportunities led the team to consider taking the penalty.

"Obviously, we are not in the best situation possible," Leclerc said.

"It's up to us to choose the best track where you want to get a penalty - if you get a penalty.

"And this is one of the tracks where it's actually quite easy to overtake."

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