Leclerc confident Spanish PU failure ‘won’t happen again’

Michelle Foster
Charles Leclerc smiling Ferrari logo. Monaco May 2022

Charles Leclerc smiling Ferrari logo. Monaco May 2022

Out of the Spanish Grand Prix when his engine failed, Charles Leclerc is “confident” that was a one-off glitch in Ferrari’s otherwise near perfect reliability record.

While his title rival Max Verstappen has spent the bulk of this season’s championship fighting both Leclerc and his own Red Bull RB18, Leclerc’s Ferrari has seemed near on bulletproof.

At least it did until Spain.

Leading the grand prix by a comfortable margin over George Russell and Verstappen, Leclerc’s Sunday imploded when he lost power and was forced to retire the car.

The Ferrari driver was gutted, his first DNF of the season also costing him the lead in the Drivers’ Championship.

The upside for Leclerc and Ferrari is there is a quick turnaround between Spain and Monaco with the driver confident Ferrari have fixed the PU problem.

“Well, they understood the issue and that is the most important thing now,” said the Monégasque driver ahead of his home race.

“Whenever you have a problem you just need to analyse understand what went wrong. We did understand what went wrong.

“We changed a few things and I’m confident that it won’t happen again.”

Leclerc has never finished his home grand prix, never mind won it.

Last season he claimed pole position but crashed at the end of the session with Ferrari opting not to change his gearbox as that would have meant a five-place grid penalty.


But while it wasn’t the gearbox that put him out of the grand prix, perhaps they would have spotted the driveshaft issue if they had. The driver didn’t even take the start.

Asked if his record of never seeing the chequered flag played on his mind, he said: “I don’t think about it.

“Of course, it’s not been the luckiest track for me overall but it’s life, it happens, it’s part of motorsport and sometimes things just don’t go your way.

“Hopefully this year they will, but I will just take the same approach that I’ve done in the first few races of 2022 because it’s been successful until now, and hopefully it will be successful at home.”

Leclerc reckons this season his F1-75, already a two-time race winner, will suit the track as the Ferrari has shown itself to be strong in the slow corners.

“I think overall whatever tracks we have been at this year, we’ve been competitive,” he said. “So I think we have a very strong package.

“Overall in the corners, it’s been our strength against the Red Bull.

“But it could be that we have some good surprises and maybe other teams that we don’t expect to be fighting for pole and actually they are the top team, so I think it will be an exciting weekend.

“I hope that for ourselves that we will be strong.”


Monaco Grand Prix predictions

Henry Valantine and Sam Cooper make their predictions for the Monaco Grand Prix.