Leclerc follows Tsunoda with Montreal grid drop

Jon Wilde
Charles Leclerc in FP2. Monaco May 2022.

Yuki Tsunoda will serve a grid penalty for taking a fourth power unit of the season at the Canadian Grand Prix.

It was later announced Charles Leclerc has also got a penalty after his failed Azerbaijan Grand Prix engine was deemed “beyond repair” by Ferrari.

Tsunoda was among the six drivers listed on the FIA document listing new power unit parts being taken in Montreal.

The Japanese racer has an entire new power unit in his AlphaTauri and it will be his fourth of the 2022 campaign, which automatically means he will start at the back of the grid.

Esteban Ocon, in his Alpine, has a new internal combustion engine (ICE), turbocharger, MGU-H, MGU-K and exhaust, but they are all only his third of the season and therefore no penalty is incurred.

The same as Ocon applies to Kevin Magnussen’s Haas, except for the MGU-K component, while the exhaust system – of which eight are allowed – is his fourth.

Canadian duo Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi, meanwhile, take the first of the two new control electronics they are permitted for the campaign, likewise Leclerc and Tsunoda.

But Leclerc was the subject of most interest over whether he would receive a grid penalty, having started on pole position for the past four races but failed to win any of them.

Two of those defeats, in Spain and Azerbaijan, were due to power unit breakdowns and Ferrari announced before the start of free practice in Montreal that the Baku engine was “beyond repair”.

With that power unit now out of the pool of three another would be required at some stage and the FIA initially announced Leclerc will have a third ICE in Canada.

However, a previously-used turbocharger in his car for FP1 and FP2 meant there was no penalty imminent at that stage.

It was after the end of FP2 that Ferrari confirmed Leclerc had taken his third control electronics of the season and that would trigger the grid penalty.

A tweet from the Scuderia read: “UPDATE: A new Control Electronic has been fitted to Charles’ car prior to FP2. It is the third of these elements used so far this season – only two are permitted – therefore Charles takes a grid penalty.”

With Max Verstappen fastest in both Friday practice sessions, it is another crushing blow to Leclerc’s hopes of bridging the 34-point deficit he now has to his Red Bull rival in the World Championship standings.