Ferrari has confirmed that the engine that failed Charles Leclerc at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix is ”beyond repair”, raising the possibility of a penalty on the grid in the near future.
Leclerc retired from the race on 12 June in Baku, in a promising position to challenge the Red Bull drivers for the win.
He also suffered a powerplant failure while leading the Spanish Grand Prix in May.
Ferrari does not rule out that the two accidents are related.
A Ferrari statement released on Friday said: “The investigation has confirmed that Charles’s Baku launcher is beyond repair. One of the possible reasons for the refusal is that it happened as a result of a problem with the PU in Spain.
“Now we are working on countermeasures to strengthen the package and the situation is under control.”
According to the rules, F1 engines are divided into six different components.
Drivers have a set amount of each component they can use before fines are issued.
Leclerc is now one engine short of his reserve and will likely have to go beyond his allotted amount at some point, perhaps as early as Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.
The first time a rider does this, he must serve a 10-place penalty on the starting grid, which is applied after qualifying the event in question.
Leclerc has seen a once-healthy championship lead disappear in the past two months.
Leclerc had not won a race since the Australian Grand Prix on 11 April and was 34 points behind defending champion Max Verstappen.