Ferrari have confirmed that Charles Leclerc will need a fourth power unit later in season thus incurring a grid penalty, following an accident at 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Leclerc was involved in a first corner collision on the opening lap of the Hungarian GP after getting struck by Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, causing his Ferrari to hit McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo indirectly through no fault of his own.
Speaking post-race on the incident, Leclerc said: ” I was taking the first corner and no way was I expecting anyone to make that kind of move on me. Getting caught out like this is just a shame. The damage was so big that once I arrived at the braking point for the next corner, I spun straight away.”
Stroll meanwhile revealed post-race that he had “took the line to the inside to try and avoid making contact, but I locked up under braking. As soon as that happened, I knew I would not make the corner because it was so slippery and tricky out there. I did all I could to avoid contact but, unfortunately, my race was over.”
Ferrari have since assessed the damage to Leclerc’s car and released the following statement:
‘The accident in which Charles Leclerc was an innocent victim shortly after the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix came at the cost of robbing him of the chance of a great result at the Hungaroring.
‘However, examination of the number 16 SF21 carried out yesterday in Maranello, revealed that on top of this, the engine was irreparably damaged and cannot be used again, following the impact from Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin.’
As a consequence, Leclerc will now require a new power unit which has angered Ferrari due to the ‘financial impact’ under a $145m budget cap, as well as creating ‘racing ramifications’ which creates the ‘highly likely’ prospect that Ferrari ‘could be obliged to fit a fourth ICE’ and incur grid penalties.
Leclerc consequently is set to start a race from the back of grid later in season should he suffer further power unit damage or issues in the second half of the campaign.
Formula One is now on a summer break until the season resumes at Spa Francorchamps, across weekend of 27-29 August, although Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren have conducted tyre testing for Pirelli at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary, today (3 August) in aid of 2022 tyre development.