Charles Leclerc is set to take a grid penalty at this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix with Ferrari opting to fit his Formula 1 car with a new engine.

Leclerc was sidelined during final practice for the United States Grand Prix after an oil leak on his SF90, prompting Ferrari to carry out a power unit change ahead of qualifying.

The Monegasque avoided a grid penalty in Austin due to Ferrari fitting an old-spec engine already in Leclerc’s allocated pool of three for the season.

Ahead of the penultimate race of the season in Brazil, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto confirmed the Scuderia’s decision to introduce a brand new power unit for Leclerc.

“We come to the penultimate round of the season after a frustrating race in Austin, where we were unable to deliver the results we felt we could have done,” Binotto said.

“On Saturday, we missed out on taking a historic seventh consecutive pole by just one hundredth of a second with Sebastian, although we can take comfort from the fact it showed the raw performance was there.

“On Sunday, Charles’ pace in the first stint was poor although his car performance level was back to normal after the first pit stop. So we will put all this behind us now and look ahead to Brazil and a fresh start.

“Charles will get a new Power Unit there, as his was damaged on Saturday in Austin, which meant he had to use a previously used and less powerful version for the rest of the weekend.

“Fitting a new PU means taking a grid-penalty in Sao Paulo, but we should be back to our normal performance level and show some fighting spirit to finish the season on a high note.

“That will be important in order to confirm we are making progress with our car and to take some of that momentum into the winter work. I know that our drivers and the whole team are fully focused on that.”

 

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