Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Monaco, 2021

Leclerc’s gearbox has ‘no serious damage’, Ferrari to decide on replacement tomorrow

2021 Monaco Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc’s gearbox was not seriously damaged in his crash at the end of qualifying, Ferrari has said.

However the team will not take a decision on whether to replace it until tomorrow.

“An initial inspection of the gearbox in Charles Leclerc’s car has not revealed any serious damage,” said the team in a statement.

“Further checks will be carried out tomorrow, to decide if the same gearbox can be used in the race.”

Leclerc took pole position for tomorrow’s Monaco Grand Prix but crashed on the final lap of qualifying. The driver admitted he was concerned his gearbox might have suffered damage and would need to be replaced, which would incur an automatic five-please grid drop.

Team principal Mattia Binotto said they would not “gamble” on leaving the unit in the car to avoid a penalty if they suspected it might fail.

This article will be updated

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2021 Monaco Grand Prix

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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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25 comments on “Leclerc’s gearbox has ‘no serious damage’, Ferrari to decide on replacement tomorrow”

  1. Joe Pineapples
    22nd May 2021, 18:56

    Fingers crossed its ok.

    1. Am I out of order for hoping it isnt? Shouldn’t be starting on pole when you crash out of qualifying IMO

      1. Well that’s Monaco. It’s only my opinion but I still like it that way. It’s a special track with unique features.

      2. Davethechicken
        22nd May 2021, 19:14

        Yes probably you are JJ. What could be better than a new driver and constructor in the mix? You prefer it when one or two teams dominate?

        1. Whilst I am happy for Leclerc to be on pole, I sincerely don’t think JJ’s comment is about the quality of the race and constructors being in the mix, etc. That’s just naive passive aggression.

          It has nothing to do with how exciting the race is, and more so to do with the competitive morality of “by crashing I denied others a genuine chance to beat my time” – of course totally unintentionally so.

          No one wants to see a boring race because one car dominates… But what else did people want to see? An exciting crescendo to qualifying that Leclerc’s crash denied us…

          1. Davethechicken
            22nd May 2021, 19:39

            JJs reference Chris, is to hoping
            Leclerc takes a penalty for a gearbox change. The statement was not about the rights and wrongs of the crash, however, I for one, do not believe that Leclerc binned it intentionally. I don’t buy that at all. Your reply is rather “passive aggressive” if you care to re read it.

          2. Steven Van Langendonck
            22nd May 2021, 22:15

            I find it really worrying how easily it is assumed that pilots are assumed to risk their livelihood and some serious damage to the car that could cost them the race.
            All this because your favorite driver didn’t get pole.
            I’m a Leclerc fan and I understand his disappointment expressed in the interview that his excellent first lap is now disregarded in favour of controversy.

          3. Yes, that is a shame, I was interested in seeing:

            1) If perez could get a bit more decent time on the last run, but could be he backed off, his q3 time was absolutely terrible
            2) If hamilton could do a bit better as well, at least than gasly, who did a great job with a car significantly inferior to the top 4
            3) If sainz could’ve challenged for pole, considering his time was faster than leclerc’s pole time by 70 thousandths until the last sector ruined it, and he was faster than leclerc in many laps
            4) If bottas could’ve also improved, and maybe jumped everyone except leclerc, considering his last counting time was significantly faster, but he lost out on the last sector and only improved by around 40 thousandths

          4. And obviously 5) If verstappen could get out a q3 worthy time and get pole, because verstappen was the first one out in q3 and as soon as I saw his time was very similar to q2 best time I said: “it’s not gonna cut it”

  2. Well, that is a bit of a relief. Will certainly make the race interesting to see how the Ferrari will be able to keep at the front.

    1. Davethechicken
      22nd May 2021, 19:16

      Could not agree more BasCB. The races in Monaco are usually terribly dull so a most welcome bit of intrigue. I suspect it will be won on pitlane however.

  3. Chris Horton
    22nd May 2021, 19:22

    Fingers crossed it’s ok. It’s a shame qualifying ended like that, Charles seems to have a knack of not getting to fully enjoy his successes, ie missing out on that first win in Bahrain not only took away from his actual first win in Spa, it also turned his first podium into a negative.


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  4. Hope it’s in good enough condition to use it for the race and get Charles starting on pole. I’m mostly a neutral F1 fan so I’m happy that there is a car other than a RB or Merc at the front for the first time in a couple of years (other than Stroll’s pole last year).

    1. Me too, and I’m italian but doesn’t mean I’m a ferrari fan, I want competition and a resurging ferrari is good to have, even if in a 2019-like state, where they can’t really compete regularly but only on select tracks.

  5. I hope it needs replacement or breaks down during the race.

    1. @d0senbrot I hope that Leclerc leads from beginning to end and wins his home grand prix.

    2. Would you say that about Max and all others too?

      1. All, except maybe Kimi.

    3. I hope that it doesn’t and you’re miserable during the race

    1. He made a mistake, but instead of suffering the consequences, he is being rewarded. I don’t like it, thats it.

      1. @d0senbrot Would you think the same if a driver not on a provisional pole had crashed or if he wasn’t the one keeping pole at that moment? Purely coincidental, so people shouldn’t be critical.

  6. There’s a braking point right before the pool ends, then that barrier where top drivers seem to “bend” the laws of physics and almost go through it… some times it doesn’t work.

    So I think Leclerc’s crashing speed was tolerable to the gearbox. He had the chance to slow down before hitting sideways front first.

    As much as Verstappen needs to win this one, I’d like to see Leclerc finally winning without the “engine dark cloud” hovering on top of him.

    1. I see no dark cloud there, he’s a great driver and I suspect would’ve won the title in 2018 had he been at ferrari, and the 2019 ferrari, for all of the cheating allegations, was NOT at the same level.

  7. It was a very square impact with the rear to the barrier, to be honest, if you’re going to whack the back end off an armco, that’s how you want to do it, short of sticking the driveshaft through the box there’s not really a lot that will break unless it’s a real wallop. All his seemed to stay straight and intact so chances are everything stayed where it should have. Could have cracked something like a wishbone or toe arm but that’s nothing major if so.

    Armco also slightly more forgiving that a wall, so it will take an even harder hit to really cause that damage on a square impact.

    Start throwing an angle into the mix, that’s when suspension pick up points etc on the casing all start getting cracked and all the suspension can tear and cause secondary damage to the box itself.

    There’s no way he did that deliberately, that’s not the crash you’d risk to stop others laps. You’d just nerf it head on into a barrier via a lock up and sacrifice a front wing.

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