Leclerc to receive grid penalty in Brazil?

09-11-2019 12:23
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
General
Leclerc to receive grid penalty in Brazil?

After a hydraulic leak during FP3 in the United States, Charles Leclerc had to use an old power unit for the Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas last weekend. However, he can't resort to this spec anymore in Brazil.

What are Ferrari's options?

The spec-2 engine, the one used in Austin, can't be used anymore because of the mileage on it. Ferrari were forced to use it because of the defect on the spec-3 last weekend, but running it again would come with a very high risk of failure.

The most obvious option would be for Ferrari to fix the spec-3 engine. If this isn't possible, however, the Italian works team will have to introduce a fourth spec, which probably would be planned for 2020.

Should Ferrari opt for the latter choice, it would mean Leclerc would receive a grid penalty at Interlagos.

Doubt

According to Motorsport.com, Ferrari are still in doubt about what path to choose. Tests in Maranello have shown the spec-3 is still capable of finishing the season. This would mean nothing would happen to Leclerc in terms of penalties, as he'd be within the limit of three power units per season. It would be a risk, however, to continue running an engine that has failed in the past.

Choosing a fourth ICE would give the 22-year-old Leclerc a 10-place grid penalty. With the battle for third place in the championship still raging, a penalty as such would be huge blow for the Monegasque as it would give Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel a good opportunity to win ground on the Monegasque. Still, if the engine fails during the race, it would be more costly...

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