Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Baku Street Circuit, 2022

“It hurts” says Leclerc after second retirement from the lead in three races

2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc admitted it “hurts” to retire from a race while leading for the second time in three rounds.

The Ferrari driver pulled into the pits with smoke billowing from the rear of his car on the 20th lap of the race. Ferrari confirmed he had suffered a power unit failure while leading, as he also had in the Spanish Grand Prix three weeks ago.

“It hurts,” Leclerc told Sky. “We really need to look into that for it to not happen again.

“I [can’t] really find the right words to describe. Obviously it’s very, very disappointing. We really need to look into it.”

Ferrari suffered a double blow in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as Carlos Sainz Jnr also retired earlier on due to a suspected hydraulic problem. Leclerc was at a loss to explain why they had suffered three failures in as many races.

“We’ve been fast and we didn’t have particularly big problems in the first part of the season,” he said. “Now it seems that we have a bit more compared to the beginning of the season.

“But we didn’t change massive things, if anything we made the thing better. So it’s difficult to understand for now but we will have to analyse. Obviously I don’t have the full picture of what happened today, just personally again it hurts.”

Several Ferrari engine customers have encountered problems as well. Zhou Guanyu also retired from the race, his third such problem in the last four rounds. Kevin Magnussen also pulled off the circuit with smoke coming out of his Ferrari-powered Haas.

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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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20 comments on ““It hurts” says Leclerc after second retirement from the lead in three races”

  1. Remember that Ferrari hasn’t build a leading F1 engine in years. Even when they were full on ‘not cheating’ they weren’t a factor in the 2019 championship, which was a clear Mercedes walkover. This season Honda has also had a clear advantage over them, being able to sail by on sheer top speed in multiple events and Ferrari’s poles have been pretty much meaningless as a result of this.

    Leclerc and Ferrari have squandered a huge lead coming out of the initial events, and might now be forced to worry more about a recovering Mercedes than an ever more commanding Red Bull – which is looking like a sure bet for a double title, 1-2 in the WDC right now.

    1. Ferrari still has the most powerful engine but reliability went worse after the latest update to the engine. Top speed of RBR is about their car design which produces more downforce with the ground effect (that is drag free) and let them to uses a less rear wing angle than others.

  2. I want Max to win but not like this. We are lucky to have 2 teams with pretty much equal cars for the second year running, I just hope it’s not ruined for Charles with DNF’s like it nearly was for Max last year.

    1. Yes, same, I always factor luck into a championship, and by now leclerc is severely behind in points lost through bad luck, despite verstappen also having 2 mechanical dnfs.

  3. Hard to believe this is the same team that gave Schumacher bulletproof reliability for year after year. Such a shame that it seems this season is going to be so heavily influenced by reliability. We’ve been waiting so long for a consistently competitive Ferrari. I really hope they can get on top of it.

    1. The name is the same, but other than that little remains of those years. Red Bull is showing that while they may not always build a competitive car, there is something else important that they’ve kept: knowing how to run a winning operation.

      Considering Ferrari’s facilities, complete freedom over every aspect of their car, huge budget and (lack of) results, they are – sadly – one of the worst run teams in F1.

      1. Yes, ferrari seems to consistently underachieve for their resources, so I guess it doesn’t come as a surprise that a budget cap doesn’t seem to make them the best car under all aspects.

  4. Now i know how Red Bull fans felt after Australia.

    Let’s hope Ferrari can make a comeback just like Red Bull did.

    1. It’s far from over yet but they’re going to have to get on top of things quickly.

      1. The problem is Ferrari has for years been somewhat of a laughing stock on strategy, and they have shown no signs of improving. Similarly, they’ve had a major top speed weakness and now, over a third into the season, there’s no sign of that changing. Another issue is that they’ve committed long-term to a second driver who has been a non-factor in pretty much all the races this year.

        The thing a lot of people are overlooking is that this is the same team Ferrari has had since the major shake-up in 2018. Now Arrivabene definitely wasn’t running a perfect operation, and 2018 was particularly badly considering all the useless ‘upgrades’ Ferrari brought to the races, but a sad fact remains that Ferrari won more races in 2018 alone (6) than they have in every season since under Binotto – combined (5).

        1. Hard to argue. Agree, to a certain extent there’s a feeling that Arrivabene was sacrificed unjustified, when the team was still at the top. But, thing is, he was leading Scuderia since mid-2014 or so… and 2015 and 2016 weren’t good years for a team like Ferrari. So, more or less, Binotto delivered a WDC challenger after the same amount of time as Arrivabene, and it’s fair to compare 2019-2021 to 2015-2016.
          Yup, I’m saying this for quite some time now, extending SAI’s contract beyond 2022 looks like a bad decision. In the end, I guess it’s better to be in the winning position and having to impose team orders rather than not having this opportunity. In my opinion, they should have kept the option of getting another driver to team up with LEC in case they don’t win any title this year. I know LEC is their no.1 driver and they want to keep him happy, but it’s stupid to not maximize their results with the 2nd car too just to keep LEC happy…. as long as LEC doesn’t win any title. So, on the long term, I think Ferrari better try to get NOR, and since McLaren is still quite a mess, they have all the chances. For 2023 (maybe 2024 too), I think RIC or even ALO would have been a better option than SAI. More than sure RIC would like to bail out of McLaren after 2022 and still remain in F1, a better team would be a bonus.

          1. Mmm, a leclerc-norris line up would be very strong, ofc with all the issues you get when you have 2 number 1s.

        2. Yes, 2018 was imo the only year in the hybrid era (are we still in the hybrid era? These technical things are not my interest at all, in case let’s just say the only year from 2014 to 2021) where mercedes had an evenly matched opponent car, that being ferrari ofc, so it’s no surprise they haven’t got many more wins after, they could this year if these reliability gremlins are 1-offs, but it’s all on leclerc, I have a hard time seeing sainz win a race in normal circumstances.

    2. I remember some people gloating about red bull issues the first race actually, I don’t like any of them, especially in a season that is otherwise competitive.

    3. Yeah, it is kind of levelled out now but I expect more DNFs to come at RedBull & Ferrari. Season is still very very long. Anything can happen including a strong come-back from Mercedes.

  5. At this point in time, I feel what Charles might be feeling
    Look toward the future with hope but only celebrate after the race is done
    This Championship has gone even further away

  6. Problem is Ferrari make mistakes when the car is winning..
    Even RBR had reliability issues(though not as much on the engine).

    Ferrari don’t capitalize like rBR do.. when the car works.

    Hats off to RBR..

    1. True, monaco for example, they still got a 1-2 when both red bull had issues the first race, but the other verstappen’s retirement, australia, sainz spun off immediately.

  7. Leclerc In Ferrari is the new Kimi in McLaren

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