Leclerc gets Russian GP grid penalty as Ferrari upgrades engine
Ferrari will introduce its long-awaited engine upgrade this weekend in Russia, but the update and new PU assigned to Charles Leclerc will send the Monegasque to the back of the grid on Sunday.
The power unit evolution features a new-specification hybrid system that Ferrari is authorized to implement, having not updated the element at the start of the 2021 season.
However, the addition of a new complete piece of hardware automatically triggers a grid drop for Leclerc, while Scuderia teammate Carlos Sainz will run with the old spec hybrid system in Sochi.
The Spaniard will receive the engine upgrade at some point later this season.
Read also: F1 likely to drop MGU-H element from future engine regs
“Its main purpose is to gain experience for the 2022 car project,” said Ferrari in its Russian Grand Prix preview.
“A great deal of effort has gone into this, both technically and logistically, and so as to be able to use it as soon as possible, its introduction will be staggered between the drivers.
“Charles will be the first to have the new hybrid system. This decision is a precautionary measure relating to the potential risk of using the battery pack damaged in his Hungarian GP accident.
“In Sochi, Leclerc will have a brand new power unit and will therefore start from the back of the grid.
“As to when the updated hybrid system is fitted to Carlos’ car, that will be decided following an evaluation of the right compromise between competitiveness and the impact of the penalty.”
Regarding Ferrari’s revised hybrid system, its performance value is estimated to be less than 10bhp.
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