Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 2022

Leclerc loses turbo and MGU-H after Barcelona retirement, Ferrari confirm

2022 Formula 1 season

Posted on

| Written by and

Charles Leclerc has lost the use of a turbocharger and an MGU-H unit for the rest of the 2022 season following his retirement from the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver appeared comfortably in the lead of yesterday’s race at the Circuit de Catalunya before his car suddenly slowed from an apparent power unit problem midway through lap 27. The terminal problem ended Leclerc’s race and opened the door for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to take the victory and with it the lead of the world championship.

A Ferrari spokesperson confirmed that Leclerc’s turbocharger and MGU-H used during the Spanish Grand Prix have both been damaged “beyond repair”, meaning Leclerc has lost use of those power unit components for the remainder of the 2022 season.

Leclerc had used just two turbochargers and two MGU-H units in his F1-75 through the opening six rounds of the championship. Each car is limited to the use of only three turbochargers and three MGU-H units throughout the 2022 season, leaving Leclerc with only two of each component left of his original allocation for the championship.

Drivers will be penalised with a ten place grid penalty for using a fourth turbocharger or MGU-H during the 22 rounds of this year’s championship. The failure in yesterday’s Spanish Grand Prix means Leclerc with the difficult prospect of using only two turbochargers and MGU-H units for the 16 remaining rounds of he season.

Fernando Alonso became the first driver to be struck by a grid penalty for exceeding his power unit allowance during the season during last weekend’s race. After suffering multiple power unit-related failures over the first five rounds of the season, Alpine opted to take a penalty by installing a fourth new Renault power unit on his car following Alonso qualifying in 17th, as the resultant penalty cost him only three additional places on the starting grid.

Despite starting from the back of the field, Alonso managed to make his way up to finish in ninth place in the race, securing his first points finish since the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2022 F1 season

Browse all 2022 F1 season articles

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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

18 comments on “Leclerc loses turbo and MGU-H after Barcelona retirement, Ferrari confirm”

  1. Nice trade-off for some totally required “reliability upgrades” now more easily ratified by the FIA.

    1. They confirmed it was an installation and not a design issue so no.

      1. Ah, thanks, hadn’t read that! 👍

  2. I hope the PU element allocation aspect doesn’t become a factor in the WDC battle.

    1. I find it interesting anyway when there’s multiple drivers starting from the back with a strong car, especially later on in the season, when parts left are more scarce.

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      24th May 2022, 8:38

      @jerejj – I think it will be however you look at it… Mercedes showed last year that is a strategical card that can have a huge impact. If Red Bull had copied Mercedes and put a fresh engine in at Brazil, I don’t think they’d have gone into the final race equal on points so it’ll be interesting to see what they do this time.

      It’ll be more difficult as the Brazilian race (being a sprint weekend) is much later in the season and the 2nd sprint weekend in Austria is too early.

      Either way, changing an engine and finishing 4th or 5th might be more valuable than running a old engine to the end of the season and finishing 1st.

      1. @petebaldwin I agree, although Brazil isn’t much later nor any later, for that matter.
        Same November phase with last season’s Sprint day as the race day.
        The only difference is having a single event left afterwards versus three last season, but only a minor difference.
        However, I agree that exceeding allocations for strategic purposes might be wiser than continuing with worn units until the end if suitable opportunities for changes arise.

  3. the difficult prospect of using only two turbochargers and MGU-H units for the 16 remaining rounds of he season

    I smile whenever I see such statements. We all know that the penalties will be taken and they won’t even mean much for the fastest cars since they’ll still end up at the front anyway.

    1. Silverstone will be penalty-taking galore: teams will change parts, take a penalty after the quali and recover on the saturday sprint.

      1. Ohh, that’s true, hadn’t considered that sprints make this even easier.

      2. someone or something
        24th May 2022, 2:10

        Penalties for PU components are applied after the Sprint, as it was originally conceived as a sort of final stage of qualifying. Hence why Hamilton started the race in 10th in last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix, despite finishing 5th in the Sprint.
        But yeah, for minor penalties, the Sprint does offer more opportunities to recover lost places.

      3. petebaldwin (@)
        24th May 2022, 8:50

        Silverstone isn’t a sprint this time. It’s Imola, Austria and Brazil. Brazil was perfect last year as it was 5 races before the end but this year, it’s the 2nd to last race so probably a bit late to be changing engines. Austria is the best chance but it’s still quite early in the season.

        I think we’ll see some have to take a hit perhaps in Japan or USA and hope to get lucky in the race.

  4. Scotty (@rockonscotty)
    23rd May 2022, 20:15

    Leclerc had used just two turbochargers and two MGU-H units in his F1-75 through the opening six rounds of the championship.

    Just two? Using 67% of your parts to get through 27% of the season doesn’t bode well. It will be interesting to see the strategic grid penalties as the season wears on.

    1. These numbers don’t make sense. Leclerc would not likely have “used up” two turbos and corresponding MGU-H units in the first 5 races. I am sure we would have heard about it if he had.
      He may have “used” 2 units, but that doesn’t mean they are no longer useable or in the bin.
      No doubt there will be penalties. As Hamilton did late last season, if a race is suitable or they have qualifying issues, as was the case for Alonso in Spain, then pile on the penalties and uncrate a whole new power unit. They can’t demote you beyond 20th starting spot anyway.

      1. He used one for the first four races and then Ferrari used a second for Miami and Spain. This article has said that the second turbo and mgu-h is no longer reparable or usable so Charles has the first turbo and mgh-h that has four races worth of mileage on it as well as a fresh one. So no, he’s not doing well. Since the one he burned only did two races the remaining two need to last 10 races each, else he will need to take a grid penalty for a fourth.

  5. Looks like Ferrari are pushing their engine to the limit….

    sounds OK to me.

  6. It put into perspective Hamilton’s initial reservations about continuing when he thought there was nothing to gain.

    1. True. Only later did he realize he had the fastest car in Spain, even with body damage.

Comments are closed.