Following his engine failure at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Ferrari have been forced to fit a fresh control electronics unit onto Leclerc’s car.

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The changes have triggered an automatic 10-place grid drop for the second race of the season in Jeddah and put Leclerc on the back foot heading into the weekend. 

Each driver is permitted just two energy stores for the entire season and Leclerc had already used up half of his allocation when Ferrari opted to replace power unit components ahead of the Bahrain GP. 

Leclerc retired from third place in the race due to an engine issue. 

The Monegasque trails Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by 25 points after his DNF and already appears to have a mountain to climb if he is to win the 2023 world title. 

Reliability was one of the key priorities for new team principal Fred Vasseur to fix over the winter but it seems like Ferrari have so far been unable to shake-off the gremlins that plagued their 2022 campaign. 

"There were two issues, one on the Sunday morning when we did the fire-up and one in the race," Vasseur explained.

"Unfortunately, it was two times the control electronics box and it's something that we never experienced in the past.

"I hope that now we have it under control. We have a deep analysis on this. But unfortunately, we will have to take the penalty in Jeddah because we only have a pool of two control electronics for the season."