Leclerc to have new gearbox for Azerbaijan GP

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Charles Leclerc Ferrari

Charles Leclerc Ferrari

Charles Leclerc will have a new gearbox in his car for the next race, with Ferrari deciding to replace it as a precaution. 

The Monegasque claimed pole position at his home race, but after setting his first time in Q3, crashed on his final run.

The Italian team decided not to replace his gearbox as it would earn him a five-place grid penalty and their assessments showed that it still worked.

Ultimately though, he was never able to start the race, with the damage from the crash proving too much. Ferrari reported though that it was not the gearbox that had failed, but instead the left driveshaft hub.

“As soon as I felt the issue I said I think there is a problem with the gearbox, but actually it wasn’t coming from the gearbox. It seemed that it was something else,” said Leclerc immediately after his DNS.

“We need to check still. I’m pretty sure it was correlated with my crash in qualifying, but we will try and understand where it’s coming from exactly.

“I wouldn’t speak too much because for now I am not aware of everything. What I know is that it wasn’t coming from the gearbox, it was more coming from the rear left of the car. Whether it’s correlated with the crash or not we will have to see in the investigations after the race, but it’s still early days to speak.”

Charles Leclerc Monaco crash

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Despite the fact that said investigations found that the gearbox wasn’t the issue though, the team are still replacing it nonetheless, according to Corriere dello Sport.

They are able to do so without being hit with a penalty as, while it hasn’t completed the required six races, the DNS in Monaco technically counts as a retirement, and the part can be replaced penalty-free in the event of a retirement.

While Leclerc may not have started the race, the Monaco Grand Prix was still hugely positive for the team as they not only took pole position but also their first podium of the year courtesy of Carlos Sainz.

However, Mattia Binotto fears Ferrari’s return to the front of the pack could be a one-off – at least until the Hungarian Grand Prix.

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