Charles Leclerc will take a ten-place grid penalty on Sunday after Scuderia Ferrari were forced to change his Control Electronics component within his power unit.
Leclerc retired from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last weekend with an engine issue on his F1-75, and Ferrari admitted the power unit is beyond repair.
It looked initially that Leclerc would escape penalty as the team took all-new internal combustion engine, MGU-H, MGU-K and control electronics, all which would have been within his allocation for 2022, but they then opted to change the control electronics again, which put him outside of his allocation and gave him the penalty.
As a result, the Monegasque racer will drop ten places on the grid on Sunday, making his Canadian Grand Prix much more difficult as he bids to regain some momentum after he and Ferrari have seen Max Verstappen and Oracle Red Bull Racing pull away at the top of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.
Looking at his Friday practice sessions at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Leclerc was positive about his running, and he ended second fastest to Verstappen in the afternoon session, just 0.081 seconds back on the fastest time.
It is the first Canadian Grand Prix since 2019 after the 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions in the country, and Leclerc admitted it was good to be back driving around a ‘fun’ track.
“It’s really good to be back at this track!” said Leclerc. “It has a lot of character, and it’s always fun to drive on circuits where you have to ride the kerbs so much.
“It was a positive first day overall. We did a good job improving our set-up from FP1 to FP2. Track evolution is usually quite big at this track, which was also the case today.
“The wind was quite strong, but it didn’t affect my running much. Our main focus going forward will be in preparing our race in the best possible way.”
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s qualifying” – Carlos Sainz Jr.
Team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. had a strong first day in Canada, with the Spaniard ending second fastest in the first session and third in the second.
Sainz felt he got a good understanding on how Pirelli’s tyres were working around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and he hopes he can take what he has learned into Saturday’s Qualifying session and attack to take what would be his first pole position in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
“It’s great to be back in Canada, at a circuit that is demanding, bumpy and full of kerbs, so it’s definitely a challenge for these new cars,” said Sainz. “I’ve enjoyed the first practice day and we have been able to progress well through the two sessions.
“It got very tricky at times due to the strong and gusty wind, but we managed to complete all our programme without any issues. Understanding the tyres will be very important come Sunday and we gathered good data with today’s run plan.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s qualifying.”