Ferrari confirms cause of Leclerc's Barcelona DNF


Ferrari has confirmed the cause of the problem that meant Charles Leclerc was forced to retire from the Spanish Grand Prix whilst heading for an almost certain win.

Having led the field into the opening corner, the Monegasque's efforts to shake off a persistent Max Verstappen were greatly helped when the Dutchman was caught out by a gust of wind at Turn 4 on lap 9.

Leaving second-placed Russell to the Red Bull pair, Leclerc continued to build a strong lead, his hopes greatly helped by the problem Verstappen was experiencing with his DRS.

The last of the leaders to pit, Leclerc stopped on lap 21 and rejoined still leading, however just six laps later... disaster.

"No, no, no," cried the youngster, "what happened, I lost power."

As he slowed he was passed by Russell, Verstappen and Perez, and on arriving back at the pits was pushed straight into his garage, Ferrari only willing to say that the cause of his retirement was "engine-related".

The Maranello outfit has now identified the cause, and in a brief statement explained that: "Having examined the PU from Leclerc's car, we found the turbo and MGU-H are damaged and cannot be repaired.

"However, having fully analysed the failure and its cause, we are satisfied it did not occur through a design fault or reliability issue with these two components or any other elements of the PU."

Fans, and no doubt Leclerc himself, are hoping that the Barcelona DNF has used up the bad luck that traditionally hits him in Monaco, most recently when he crashed Niki Lauda's 1974 312B3 during a demonstration run in the Monaco Historic.

Despite the disappointment of his Barcelona retirement however, Leclerc insists that overall the weekend was a positive.

"Our qualifying pace, the new package works as expected, which is not always a given, and everything was working well," he said. "Our race pace and tyre management... tyre management after the last few races, we've been struggling quite a bit compared to Red Bull. Today it was strong.

"In those situations, I think it's good to also look at the positives, and there are plenty."

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Published: 24/05/2022
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