Update II | “Ferrari does not yet understand the energy store problem, Leclerc grid penalty not excluded”

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Update II |

Charles Leclerc may already be looking at a grid penalty. The Ferrari driver dropped out due to a technical defect and the problem now appears to lie elsewhere than was thought just after the race. The energy store of Leclerc’s SF-23 is said to be damaged and beyond repair, so that he has already lost one of the two from the pool. Before the race, the other energy store was already replaced as a precaution.

Leclerc had to abandon his race at the Bahrain International Circuit on the fortieth lap. At that point it was already clear that the Ferrari driver had to settle for third place, as his car did not have the speed to chase the Red Bull Racing cars of Max Verstappen and Sergio PĂ©rez. The outing added even more salt to the Monegask’s wounds and it could also be worse than expected. “Contrary to what was first thought, the problem is not with the ICE but with the energy store,” writes Formula1.uno.

The generally well-entered Italian website therefore thinks that Leclerc is already looking at a grid penalty. Prior to the race, Ferrari also replaced parts of the engine and that included the energy store. The Formula 1 teams are allowed to use two energy stores per season, so if a third is involved, a grid penalty will follow. In addition, Leclerc’s retirement was unusual. “This mistake had nothing to do with the failures that Ferrari had in 2022.”

Ferrari must be patient for improvement

Due to the failure, it was up to Carlos Sainz to fish in the points. Ferrari had already taken the tire wear into account, but it ended up being worse than expected. The problems that the team experienced in Bahrain must therefore be resolved quickly, although the question is how quickly Ferrari can make up for the deficit. “The team has to wait another four or five races, but then the reliability problems have to be completely solved.”

Update 5:20pm (08/03) | “Ferrari seems to be able to postpone grid penalty after saving Leclerc engine part”

Charles Leclerc does not seem to have to fear a grid penalty during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. One of the two energy stores can be repaired, while the other cannot be repaired. The Italian racing stable already replaced the energy store prior to the race on Sunday as a precaution, but it still broke during the race. The part that was replaced can still be saved, reports the Italian branch of Motorsport.com.

That is good news for Ferrari and Leclerc, because the Formula 1 teams are allowed to use two energy stores per season. If a third is involved, it will result in a grid penalty of five places. Besides the fact that Ferrari found out that the part could be repaired, it is clear to the team why Leclerc had to park his car. The wiring was disrupted by the bumps on the Bahrain International Circuit. So there was no human error when changing the engine parts.

Update II 4:32pm (14/03) | “Ferrari does not yet understand the energy store problem, Leclerc grid penalty not excluded”

The Ferrari team has managed to find the cause of the problem that Charles Leclerc faced. Despite this, the team has not yet come to a solution, Auto, Motor und Sport knows. This means that the problem could reoccur in the future. In addition, it is also not yet entirely clear whether the first energy store, which was replaced as a precaution for the Bahrain Grand Prix, can also be repaired. As a result, Leclerc could still face a grid penalty in Jeddah.

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