The Monegasque looked set for a comfortable win on Sunday when he suddenly lost power on lap 27 of the race. Leclerc then parked the F1-75 in the pit lane, after which Max Verstappen took the win and lead in the World Cup.
Ferrari had not yet answered the question of what exactly was going on with Leclerc’s engine on Sunday. The team first wanted to thoroughly analyze the engine at the Maranello plant. Now the power source is back in Italy and the investigation is closed: Turbo and MGU-H seem to have been the culprits. In addition, both parts are so damaged that they can no longer be crafted.
“After examining the power unit of Leclerc’s car, we have determined that the turbo and MGU-H are damaged and beyond repair,” Ferrari said in a statement. “However, after fully analyzing the problem and its root cause, we are confident that the problem was not caused by a design flaw or lack of reliability of these two components or any of the other parts of the power unit.”
With the latter, Ferrari seems to want to emphasize that no structural problems with the engine have come to light, although another driver, Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu, was also sidelined in Spain with a problem with a Ferrari engine. According to team boss Mattia Binotto, Leclerc’s energy source failed without warning. “The problem appeared suddenly,” said the Italian on Sunday evening. “Charles radioed us and then the engineers saw it in the data too. So it happened very suddenly.”
Leclerc was working on his second powerplant of the season at Barcelona. Ferrari must now consider whether to return to the components Leclerc raced at the start of the F1 season or switch to new parts at the Monaco Grand Prix. This year, a driver is only allowed to use three turbos and three MGU-Hs. The engine failure that Leclerc suffered in Spain could therefore also result in a starting penalty later in the season.