Ferrari discards Leclerc’s Hungary engine – penalty looms

Ferrari has been forced to discard Charles Leclerc’s latest engine following damage sustained to the unit at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Leclerc was hit by Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll during the first corner commotion that took place at the start of last Sunday’s race.

The Monegasque retired on the spot, but post-race checks at Maranello revealed unrepairable damage to the power unit, forcing Ferrari to withdraw the engine from Leclerc’s pool of hardware.

The removal means that Leclerc will take on his third and final unit at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa when the season resumes at the end of the month. Any additional power units added to the driver’s allocation in the future – a likely prospect – will necessarily entail a grid penalty.

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“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,” the Scuderia said ina statement released on Tuesday.

“This is a further blow for Scuderia Ferrari and the Monegasque driver. This damage has a financial impact and also racing ramifications, given that over the remaining 12 race weekends this season, it is highly likely the team could be obliged to fit a fourth ICE to Charles’ SF21, thus incurring grid penalties.”

    Read also: Leclerc critical of ‘unrealistic’ move by Stroll in Hungary

Leclerc wasn’t the only driver to sustain engine damage as a result of Sunday’s mayhem, with the Honda unit powering Red Bull’s Sergio Perez also failing, although the team has yet to confirm whether the unit is salvageable or not.

Furthermore, Honda also introduced in Hungary a third and final engine into Max Verstappen’s pool of hardware after a crack was discovered in the Dutchman’s Silverstone unit.

But the Japanese manufacturer said that it would undertake further checks on the power unit to see if it could be repaired.

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