Formula 1 – Leclerc with motor poker: catching up from behind
In the first training session on the Ile de Notre-Dame, Leclerc was therefore given a drive train with a new V6 combustion engine, new electric motors and a new control unit. For the turbocharger, the technicians initially used an old component so as not to put all their cards on the table.
Because with this combination, the Ferrari driver would have fully exhausted his contingent of permitted engine parts, but would have gone unpunished.
But it did not stop. Before the second free practice, the FIA reported: Ferrari has used another new control unit. In this case, the regulations provide for a drop of ten starting places. So Ferrari made short work of it and added another, completely new power unit to fill Leclerc’s engine pool accordingly. So the Monegasse has to start from the back today (8 p.m. German time live on Sky).
A very conscious decision, because overtaking is possible on the long straights of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
The question remains how long this engine will last. The reliability problems have not yet been eliminated. “We are working on countermeasures,” says Ferrari. After all, the Italians reveal so much: the defect in Baku was apparently a result of the turbo damage in Barcelona.
Leclerc made the best of the situation and placed his F1-75 in 19th place on the grid – because Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) is also filling up his drive pool, the Japanese with the worse lap time in qualifying will start from the back. “We were able to gain a place by qualifying before Yuki,” Leclerc has at least a small success to report. “It’s only one position, but every detail can help on a race weekend like this.”
However, the behavior of his car in a direct duel worries him. Leclerc: “The race pace should be good, but overtaking was rather difficult on Friday. I hope that things will go better in the race and that I can work my way up the field quickly.”
At some point he should also meet Aston Martin star Sebastian Vettel, who also has his sights set on points from 16th place. So it’s quite possible that the former Ferrari teammates will work together again on the way forward.
For Leclerc in particular, with all aggressiveness, the main thing is to limit the damage. After two engine failures, he is already 34 points behind World Championship leader Max Verstappen. And in Canada, of all things, it starts from the very beginning.