Charles Leclerc incurs grid penalty in only the second race of 2023 Formula 1 season

Charles Leclerc will face a 10 place grid penalty at the Saudi Arabia GP as Scuderia Ferrari are forced to fit a third electronics control unit
Charles Leclerc has incurred a 10 place grid penalty at the Saudi Arabia GP
Charles Leclerc has incurred a 10 place grid penalty at the Saudi Arabia GP

(Motorsport) Charles Leclerc’s 2023 Formula 1 season has gone from bad to worse as he has incurred a 10 place grid penalty in just the 2nd Grand Prix of the season. After his retirement in Bahrain, Scuderia Ferrari were forced to replace the Energy Store and Control Electronics on Leclerc’s engine which means he has already gone over the allocation of two ECU’s with the team installing a third unit for the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix. If that’s not all, the 10 place grid penalty could get even worse if Ferrari are forced to make even more changes to their car. 

Scuderia Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur said “On Sunday, we had two different issues. The first one was on Sunday morning, when we did the fire up, and the second one was in the race. Unfortunately, it was two times the control unit, the ECU. It’s something that we never experienced in the past. I hope now it’s under control, but we have a deep analysis on this. Unfortunately, we’ll have to take the penalty in Jeddah, because we have only a pool of two control units for the season.” 

Charles Leclerc was in third place and could have finished on the podium if he was not forced to retire and was visibly frustrated when his car broke down. Hopes were high by the Tifosi after Mattia Binotto made way for Fred Vasseur at Scuderia Ferrari as the team suffered from a variety of reliability and strategy issues. Leclerc’s penalty all but rules him out of a potential podium finish in Jeddah and expectations will now shift to Carlos Sainz who finished fourth in Bahrain to salvage Ferrari’s season in only the second race of the season.

Also read: Will Aston Martin be able to compete against Red Bull Racing in 2023?


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