Charles Leclerc is set for a grid penalty in this weekend’s F1 Brazil GP as Scuderia Ferrari confirmed of a new power unit to be fitted on his car.
Leclerc’s F1 US GP weekend was derailed by a power unit issue as he was forced to revert to an older spec engine, which hampered his performance in the grand prix, where he finished only fourth but long way off Mercedes and Red Bull Racing cars.
With only two races to go in the 2019 F1 season, Ferrari is forced to introduce a fourth power unit for Leclerc in this weekend’s Brazil GP at Interlagos. The Monegasque, therefore, will receive a grid penalty of at least five places.
It remains to be seen if Ferrari adds more of the new parts of just change the internal combustion engine. The Italian manufacturer is using it as a strategic move in order to prepare itself for the winter break and the 2020 F1 season.
“We come to the penultimate round of the season after a frustrating race in Austin, where we were unable to deliver the results we felt we could have done,” started Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto, in pre-event press release.
“On Saturday, we missed out on taking a historic seventh consecutive pole by just one hundredth of a second with Sebastian, although we can take comfort from the fact it showed the raw performance was there.
“On Sunday, Charles’ pace in the first stint was poor although his car performance level was back to normal after the first pit stop. So we will put all this behind us now and look ahead to Brazil and a fresh start.
“Leclerc will get a new Power Unit there, as his was damaged on Saturday in Austin, which meant he had to use a previously used and less powerful version for the rest of the weekend. Fitting a new PU means taking a grid-penalty in Sao Paulo.
“But we should be back to our normal performance level and show some fighting spirit to finish the season on a high note. That will be important in order to confirm we are making progress with our car and to take some of that momentum into the winter work.
“I know that our drivers and the whole team are fully focused on that.” The grid penalty will mean that Leclerc starts the Brazil GP weekend on the backfoot, while in thr fight for third in championship against Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen.
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