F1: Leclerc already at risk of 5-place grid penalty (Update)

by Mark Cipolloni

There were fears Ferrari would be forced into replacing parts, which could have handed Leclerc a grid drop for the next race in Jeddah. However, investigations at Maranello have concluded the first of two control units could be saved.

It means Leclerc is unlikely to face a penalty next time out, but will likely have to take a drop sooner than his rivals. According to Motorsport.com Italia, Ferrari has also identified the cause of the issue which plagued Leclerc in Sakhir.

The Scuderia believes the wiring broke down simply due to inadequate fastening between the engine and the chassis. Speaking after the race, Leclerc said: “We had a great start and everything felt good. We had a solid gap behind us and were managing the pace well until, unfortunately, we lost power.

“It’s a shame and we will look into the causes to make sure we understand what happened.”

March 8, 2023 

–by Mark Cipolloni–

It has now been revealed that Charles Leclerc’s retirement from the Bahrain GP was due to a failure with the battery (energy store) in his Ferrari, and it’s not fixable.

Drivers are only allowed two energy store elements per season and with Leclerc changing one before the race and the second one failing and being unrecoverable, he is already at risk of taking a penalty.

Should the 25-year-old now need to switch to a third energy store, Leclerc will be forced to serve a grid penalty, setting him back five places per component changed.

With Leclerc potentially enduring another nightmare season with Ferrari, one has to wonder how long it will be before he calls up Toto Wolff and begs him for a seat when Lewis Hamilton decides to hang it up.

Of course Mercedes has their own problems right now, but for how long?