News/ Motorsport/ 10-Place Grid Penalty For Charles Leclerc In Saudi Arabian Grand Prix! But Why?

10-Place Grid Penalty For Charles Leclerc In Saudi Arabian Grand Prix! But Why?

Ferrari had a roller-coaster F1 season last year, majorly due to poor racing strategies and reliability concerns. Well, it looks like this year is no different, as Charles Leclerc will serve a 10-place grid penalty at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. At the start of the season in the Bahrain Grand Prix - Ferrari had to retire Charles from the GP despite being in third place at the race due to issues with control electronics in his SF-23 engine. 

According to FIA(Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile), each team can only use two control electronics components per season. Ferrari had to replace the new Energy Store and Control Electronics power unit elements pre-race in Baharian GP. However, the issue didn't seem to resolve, with Leclerc sighing over the radio: "No, no, no! No power!" and Ferrari had to replace the ECU again for Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Each team is allocated to use only 2 ECUs per season, and Ferrari is about to use its 3rd ECU - causing them a 10-place grid penalty. So, even if Charles finishes qualifying in the pole position, he has to start the race from the 11th position. 

"On Sunday, we had two different issues, the first one was on the sunday morning, when we did the fire up, and the second one was in the race. says Ferrari Team Principal Fred Vasseur. He further adds , "It's something that we never experienced in the past. I hope now it's under control, but we have a deep analysis on this. Unfortunately, we'll have to take the penalty in Jeddah, because we have only a pool of two control units for the season." 

Well, this isn't the onset former Alfa Romeo team principal  - Fred Vasseur and Ferrari would have expected, at least at the start of a new season. There are other political talks on management issues which we shall wait to touch upon. But, for now, these ECU problems are the subject of deep concern, not just for Ferrari but also for Haas and Alfa Romeo, which share critical components with Ferrari.

TopGear Magazine February 2024