On the evidence shown in Montreal at the Canadian Grand Prix, it seems that Ferrari have more engine problems than previously thought. Trouble is mounting for the F1 team who will have to react quickly.
Ferrari accept some setbacks, naturally, as part of the risk of having cut the gap with those in front, but the other side of the coin is that in the first third of the World Championship they are already at the limit in the case of Carlos Sainz, and above it in the case of Charles Leclerc.
The driver from Monaco will start Sunday at the back of the grid as he had to change almost the entire power unit. In several of its elements, he exceeded the permitted limit, such as with the 4th combustion engine, the 4th MGU-K, also the 4th MGU-H and the third electronic power unit.
Remember, teams are allowed just two engine switches in a season. Ferrari are taking big risks with these major adjustments as they try to find the winning combinations.
Leclerc will start 19th, which is a big blow for his title aspirations unless he reacts like a champion and makes a wild comeback, which is precisely why the engine has been changed for this race.
In the case of Carlos Sainz, he’s on ‘only’ his third combustion engine, which leaves him at subject to a penalty the next time he changes something.
Improvement and the problems arrive
Everything has been triggered since Ferrari introduced the first major improvement to the car at the last race in Spain, although Leclerc had already switched engine in the previous meeting in Miami, where he could not beat Verstappen and since then he has racked up misfortune after misfortune.
It was an unexpected setback, they said at the time, when both the turbo and the MGU-H were damaged. In Baku, two rounds later, it was the combustion engine that ruined it when he was just on lap 20.
Leclerc, who was almost 50 points ahead of Verstappen, who suffered two zeroes in the first races, is now 34 points behind the world champion.
He drives a car capable of six pole positions in nine races, but with which he has been unable to take advantage of that superiority because it is unreliable.
That can be clearly seen in this latest race when he will have to work extra hard to make sure the gap doesn’t widen. Verstappen will be looking to capitalise on this uncertainty.