Leclerc set for 10-place grid penalty in Saudi

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is serving 10th place on the grid at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the second race of the F1 season.

Leclerc left third place at the final round of the Bahrain Grand Prix due to a problem with his Ferrari’s control electronics.

Ferrari confirmed that Leclerc started this race on his second ECU after the team had a problem on the first one the morning before the race, meaning it was a replacement part that failed during the Grand Prix.

With F1 rules only allowing two engine components per driver before penalties are imposed, Leclerc will lose 10 places from where he qualified this weekend as he moves to a third device.

“This is something we have never experienced in the past and I hope everything is under control now,” Ferrari boss Fred Wasser said on Wednesday.

“But unfortunately we will have to take a penalty in Jeddah because we only have two ecu for the season.”

After the race in Bahrain, Wasser said that the priority for the new season of Ferrari should be to improve reliability.

Vasser, who took over as Ferrari team principal in early January, is also downplaying reports of early tensions between him and CEO Benedetto Vigna – Italian media reports suggested this was the case after the departure of car performance head David Sanchez last week.

“With Benedetto, we have an ongoing collaboration,” Vasser said. “So far this is a very good setup. We always have open discussions. He is supportive on every topic and I can’t complain about that. It comes more from gossip, but the collaboration with Benedetto is a very positive one.”

It looks like Ferrari is quite far behind Red Bull in terms of pace at this point in the season, although a race in Saudi Arabia may favor the Italian team’s strengths more than in Bahrain.


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