Leclerc lost “80 horsepower for 15 laps” with engine problem

Formula 1

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Ferrari revealed how badly compromised Charles Leclerc was by the power unit problem he suffered during the Canadian Grand Prix.

Leclerc reported the problem with his power unit early in the race. The problem worsened and was eventually cured when Ferrari performed a ‘power cycle’ in the pits on lap 28.

“We had an issue on the engine which meant we lost around 80 horsepower for about 15 laps,” explained team principal Frederic Vasseur.

“We were hoping for a red flag to be able to do a reset and restart. There was no red flag, so we had to pit which cost us a lap and effectively that was the end of Charles’ race as he was lapped.”

Ferrari gambled on an early switch to hard slick tyres at the same time, hoping that the rain which was forecast would prove to be lighter than expected, and he would be able to run to the end of the race without pitting again. That gamble backfired, but Leclerc had no complaints about his strategy.

“The bottom line today is that the engine issue is what compromised our race,” said Leclerc. “We were losing substantial lap time compared to the other cars, so we tried to go on slicks, knowing that it was our only chance to try to finish in the points. There was nothing to lose and I’ve got no regrets on that.”

Leclerc later retired from the race, as did his team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr when he spun out and was hit by Alexander Albon.

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“This one hurts and it’s a big loss of points for the team with both of us unable to finish,” Leclerc added. “We will look into the issue we had to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Ferrari endured a poor weekend in Canada, two weeks after Leclerc’s victory in Monaco, as neither driver qualified inside the top 10. Vasseur admitted they had not seen their slump in performance coming.

“It’s not been a good weekend right from the very beginning,” said the team principal. “I hope it means we have had all our troubles in the one grand prix and that we will be back in Spain in much better shape.

“We will debrief and look at what we could have done differently. We didn’t expect this weekend to be so difficult especially as our long run pace was good on Friday. It’s a long season, so we will have ups and downs but I hope we don’t have too many ‘downs’ like this.”

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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...

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5 comments on “Leclerc lost “80 horsepower for 15 laps” with engine problem”

  1. That and they didn’t have those Monaco tires. wink wink, nudge nudge.

  2. @pcxmac That was uncalled for, Charles at least was doing quite well before the engine issue.

  3. Have you tried turning it off and on again?

    1. Yes they did that indeed ;)

      1. And, HP couldn’t bring them a more updated OS of Windows 98.

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