Ten-place grid penalty confirmed for Leclerc in Canada

Jamie Woodhouse
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, close to the wall. Canada, June 2022.

After much speculation, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will drop 10 places on the Canadian Grand Prix grid for taking new control electronics.

With the Ferrari power unit that let go in Baku while Leclerc was leading deemed “beyond repair”, team and driver arrived for the Canadian Grand Prix surrounded by talk of potential grid penalties.

Initially it appeared that would not be the case, Leclerc receiving a new Internal Combustion Engine, MGU-K, MGU-H and Control Electronics, though none of those components took him over the limits for the season.

Nonetheless, Leclerc told media personnel before the action had begun that Ferrari were faced with a key decision on when to take the penalty.

“Obviously, we are not in the best situation possible,” he said. “For the power unit change I think there are still ongoing discussions, we’ll try to push (back) as much as possible the decision.

“For now, no decisions are taken. But it’s not the best situation for me.

“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. But there are also some of the tracks in the next three or four races where it’s easier to overtake too.

“We’ll discuss and try and take the best decision from there.”

No pushing back though as it turned out with the FIA confirming another new Control Electronics for Leclerc, taking him to three for the season and thus pushing him over the permitted number of that component.

As such, he drops 10 places on the grid for the first Canadian Grand Prix to be held since 2019.

Ferrari issued an official statement to confirm the penalty for their driver.

“A new Control Electronic has been fitted to Charles’ car prior to FP2,” the team affirmed.

“It is the third of these elements used so far this season – only two are permitted – therefore Charles takes a grid penalty.”

This gives Red Bull’s Max Verstappen a major boost in the race for the 2022 Drivers’ title, the Dutchman coming into the Canadian Grand Prix race weekend with a 34-point buffer over Leclerc.

 

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