Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2021

Ferrari expect penalty for Leclerc following engine damage in Stroll crash

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Charles Leclerc will likely take a grid penalty later in the season as a result of the first-lap crash which took him out of the Hungarian Grand Prix, according to Ferrari.

The team confirmed inspection of Leclerc’s power unit following the crash indicated it was “irreparably damaged”. Leclerc retired after he was hit from behind by Lance Stroll at the first corner and knocked into Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren.

Formula 1 drivers are allowed to use a maximum of three new power units over the course of the 23-race season. Leclerc’s power unit was his second, and as it is now unlikely to complete a full duty cycle he is expected to require a fourth power unit before the end of the season, incurring an automatic grid penalty.

“The accident in which Charles Leclerc was an innocent victim shortly after the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix came at the cost of robbing him of the chance of a great result at the Hungaroring,” said Ferrari in a statement.

“However, examination of the number 16 SF21 carried out yesterday in Maranello, revealed that on top of this, the engine was irreparably damaged and cannot be used again, following the impact from Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin.”

The consequences of the collision will go beyond a likely penalty, Ferrari pointed out.

“This damage has a financial impact and also racing ramifications, given that over the remaining 12 race weekends this season, it is highly likely the team could be obliged to fit a fourth ICE to Charles’ SF21, thus incurring grid penalties.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2021 F1 season

Browse all 2021 F1 season articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

21 comments on “Ferrari expect penalty for Leclerc following engine damage in Stroll crash”

  1. Ironic that Leclerc will end up getting a bigger grid drop than Stroll. 5 places wasn’t harsh enough for such an amateurish error.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      4th August 2021, 11:50

      Leclerc has used up all his allowed “engines” in half a season. That is indeed a way bigger “offence” than what Stroll and Bottas did.

  2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    3rd August 2021, 15:26

    Has anyone been given an engine penalty yet? If not, the FIA and teams need to move ASAP to extend the allocation of engines without incurring a penalty for this season to 4 or 5. They may also want to include other components. It’s obvious that it’s not enough to cover a 23 race calendar and many of the engines have been lost to incidents.

    Red Bull has been on the receiving end of this.

    Otherwise, we are going to be talking about engine penalties for the rest of the season. Someone high up (perhaps Ross Brawn) needs to take ownership of this matter.

    1. I support your idea, even if I am Mercedes fan. Engine penalties caused by other competitors is an issue for the whole F1 and not just for Ferrari or Red Bull.

    2. @freelittlebirds Tsunoda and Perez have exceeded their ES and CE allocations, but everyone else is still within their allocation for each component.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        3rd August 2021, 15:48

        @jerejj Is that they have now exceeded them or they are going to exceed them after this weekend? Or did they exceed them when they took pit lane starts or started at the back or something?

        @freelittlebirds I agree. It would be a shame for a close championship fight to be ruined by engine penalties due to being accidents, especially ones like Hungary where it wasn’t their fault.

        That said, Ross Brawn is at FOM, who manage the rights and marketing. It would need to be someone high up at the FIA (like Domenicali for example).

        1. Indeed, for a verstappen or hamilton (strong driver in strong car) probably if you start from the back due to replacing component and the track isn’t monaco-like (pretty much none left like it) should be possible to get back ahead of everyone but red bull, mercedes and any over-performing ferrari or mclaren, so in some cases 4th place should be possible, if bottas or perez make some mistake over the race as well, maybe even a podium, since you don’t always have a strong ferrari or mclaren, however it cuts you out from the fight for the win before even starting.

        2. @randommallard Tsunoda exceeded in Imola and Perez in Silverstone. P20 and pit lane start, respectively.

          1. RandomMallard (@)
            3rd August 2021, 17:44

            @jerejj How did Tsunoda exceed at Imola? That was only 2 races in was it not? Did he need one replaced after Bahrain and one after the shunt in Imola qualifying? I know he’s crashed a lot already (as have all the rookies tbh), but that is impressive, but not in a good way.

          2. @randommallard Because of the Q1 shunt. IIRC, he had an issue with ES and CE in Bahrain, which forced him to move into the 2nd allocated copies already on the season-opener.

          3. RandomMallard (@)
            3rd August 2021, 20:27

            @jerejj Thanks so much for the explanation! Your knowledge of this sport is incredible

  3. Not three PUs.
    ICE: 3
    MGU-H: 3
    MGU-K: 3
    TC: 3
    ES: 2
    CE: 2
    EX: 8.
    More specific wordings in PU matters would be ideal because a single or some components aren’t the same as an entire PU. The allocations only concern each element individually, not all combined.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      3rd August 2021, 18:35


      Thanks for listing all the components and limits.

      Imho, they should just bump the limit for all of them by 1 or 2 and also exclude the cost for any extra units/components from the budget.

  4. This is just so unfair. So we’re expecting a 10-place grid-spot drop? Double of that of Stroll? Just great.

    1. Yes, rules are a joke, need a serious overhaul.

      1. @esploratore1 Those are the rules that all the teams agreed to.

        To be honest, I can’t see any team escaping engine penalties with 23 scheduled races and three sprints on top.

  5. So the driver that knocks you out of the race gets a 5 place grid penalty, you lose an engine and get a 10 place grid penalty for not being able to finish the season without taking another engine which you would have done but for the crash. How is that sensible!
    The idea behind the penalties was an attempt to save costs but now we have a cost cap so being crashed out of a race now has a double penalty to the driver being not at fault surely this needs to change.

  6. somebody else trashes your engine, you get to not finish a race AND 10 placed grid penalty in another.

    very good rules.

  7. I’m wary of going down this road. Trying to put teams in a status quo ante position with a power unit based on “fault” introduces a lot of complicated issues that are going to be technical as well as adjudicatory. For example, fault is not always one-sided, and some theories of liability would preclude “recovery” where a victim contributed to his injury, or may favor recovery (only) proportional to fault to be more fair, meaning both sides should see some benefit. How does that work out? Also consider that a free swap is going to be a performance advantage, since a new engine component may be both faster and depending on the timing may even obviate another component change. Then, as Jere points out, not all components are created equally—they have different potential life cycles and performance benefits.

  8. Maybe Toto and Christian could have a gentlemen’s agreement – when Lewis or Max change their last allocated components and get a 30-place grid penalty (or whatever it is), the other team also puts in the new components. That way Max and Lewis could both start from the last row.

    Imagine what a race that could be!
    And with a multitude of drivers that can crash into others (or each other), we could even have a new winner again – of course with Lewis and Max finishing on the podium anyway.

  9. A budget cap as well as PU and parts allocations have been argued and discussed by the teams for years before finally mandated. You would’ve thought that this would’ve been properly thought out before its introduction. It’s extraordinary that these crash scenarios have come as a surprise to the teams.

Comments are closed.