Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit of the Americas, 2019

Leclerc to take grid penalty in Brazil

2019 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc’s engine failure in Austin means he will have a grid penalty at this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

Ferrari has confirmed they will fit a new power unit to his car for the upcoming race at Interlagos. Ferrari has not given full details of which parts will need to be changed, but it is likely to mean Leclerc will take at least a 10-place grid penalty.

Leclerc used an old power unit following the failure at the Circuit of the Americas.

“Charles will get a new power unit there,” team principal Mattia Binotto confirmed, “as his was damaged on Saturday in Austin which meant he had to use a previously used and less powerful version for the rest of the weekend. Fitting a new PU means taking a grid penalty in Sao Paulo.”

This is the second engine penalty Ferrari has had this season – Sebastian Vettel took a 10-place drop in Belgium.

Despite the setback, Binotto is hopeful the team “should be back to our normal performance level” following their sub-par outing in Austin, and will “show some fighting spirit to finish the season on a high note.”

“That will be important in order to confirm we are making progress with our car and to take some of that momentum into the winter work,” he added. “I know that our drivers and the whole team are fully focused on that.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Leclerc to take grid penalty in Brazil”

  1. Well, I guess we will get a good look at the full Ferrari PU power as Leclerc attempts to overtake one driver after another out of the last corner and up the hill before the Senna SSes, now with a new PU that only has to last two race weekends.

  2. If the rumors that Ferrari tuned down the engine after the new rule are not true, the fresh engine will look like a spaceship

  3. I don’t believe Vettel took a 10-place grid penalty in Belgium. He started 2nd on the grid, alongside Leclerc.

    1. Yeah I don’t think they have had another grid penalty.

      Also regarding the Ferrari engine, they have had two very high profile failures, Leclerc lost the win in Bahrain, and Vettel’s Sochi failure also resulted in Charles losing the race. That’s two wins lost due to power failures.

      Say what you want about the power unit, but my feeling is that they’ve been running it less conservatively than Mercedes in order to compensate for a slower car on the aero side.

      1. 3 failures, during FP3 in Austin for Leclerc’s car.

        1. Agreed, I was talking for high profile failures that cost them wins.

          1. So far only Mercedes factory team has managed to get through the year without any engine penalties.

  4. Well, they got an explanation for the power loss at Austin at least. Vettel out, Leclerc with an old engine.

    But it is up to you to believe it. Interlagos is not a power track, but that hill up to the start line usually shows who’s who on power since it starts at very low speed where the drag is not a big factor yet.

    Leclerc should pass flying over everybody up that hill. If not…well, I’ll let you say it. Comments please!

  5. Sebastian Vettel took a 10-place drop in Belgium

    It was Germany, @keithcollantine

    1. Yes. Vettel started the German GP from 20th place on the grid.

      1. @bulgarian @sravan-pe But even that wasn’t due to a grid-penalty but instead due to a problem in Q1.

        1. @jerejj Well he also got a 10 place grid penalty. Which indeed didn’t do anything after being last after Q1 anyway.

          Also, not a penalty for the engine, but for the ECU though.

          Anyway, Leclerc would be able to really push this engine hard then with only 2 races to go. Lets see what he can do with some extra performance (and starting a bit further back)

          1. @f1osaurus Yes, thanks for reminding me of the tactical penalty taken after finishing dead-last in QLF. Yes, Leclerc indeed should be able to push hard, given the closeness of the season-end.

  6. But will their Baldrick-like “cunning plan” involve unusual engines, baffling indecision, pirouettes from a bearded German man, and sticking the faster car behind the slower one?

  7. These grid penalties are an outrage. Obviously the allowed number of ICE are not enough for clubs to finish the year with. And the FIA knows this. This is deliberate and malicious.

  8. roberto giacometti
    13th November 2019, 3:50

    I know it has already been said – but these rules about engine penalties are completely farcical. So it’s not bad enough that you stuff one race up because an engine blows – but let’s stuff the next race up too – even before it has started !!!! That’s really good motivation !!!

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