Leclerc loses power, retires from the lead in Spain

Henry Valantine
Charles Leclerc with the revised rear wing and floor. Spain May 2022

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc with the revised rear wing and floor. Spain May 2022

Charles Leclerc has retired from the comfortable lead of the race in Spain, after his Ferrari lost power in the middle sector.

After taking a dominant pole position and leading away from the start, the World Championship leader had been running well ahead of the rest of the field after a commanding first half of the Spanish Grand Prix, and appeared to be well on course for a win that would have seen him re-extend his lead at the top of the standings.

But his Ferrari was soon seen trundling slowly as he lost power through Turn 9 on lap 27 of 66 in Barcelona, and was clearly crestfallen over team radio as he shouted his disapproval at the way his car cut out.

He was then forced to come slowly back to the pit lane as it gifted George Russell the lead of the race at that point in proceedings, after then offering consoling words to say “we will come back stronger” from this setback, which offered Max Verstappen the chance to take the lead of the Drivers’ Championship.

Leclerc clambered out of his car and offered handshakes to team members, before heading to the pit wall to speak to team principal Mattia Binotto.

Ferrari later confirmed that it was a power unit issue that forced Leclerc to retire, and will investigate to estbalish the full cause of his retirement after the race.

“That’s how it is, it can happen to us,” Leclerc told French broadcaster Canal+ after his retirement. “We haven’t had any problems since the beginning of the season… I hope I can finally finish this GP at home [Monaco] next week.”


Follow the rest of the Spanish Grand Prix action via the PlanetF1 live centre here.