The Ferrari Formula 1 team say they have “identified the problem” which led to Charles Leclerc’s retirement in Spain ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix. 

Leclerc dropped out of the points with a spin when his engine mysteriously switched off mid-corner during the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, before he was ultimately forced into his first mechanical DNF at Ferrari on Lap 38. 

Following a thorough investigation after the race, Ferrari’s Head of Power Unit Enrico Gualtieri revealed the Scuderia had now got to the bottom of what caused the electrical issue. 

“In Barcelona, we paid a high price for a lack of reliability, and in fact we have now identified the problem with the electronic control unit that caused Charles’ retirement,” said Gualtieri. 

“We also suffered from not maximising our qualifying performance, which put us in a difficult situation in the race. Aware of the current difficulties, we have to focus on our work in preparing for the weekend. 

“The main aim is to ensure the drivers can get the most out of the SF1000. We must optimise the car-PU package, work well in the garage, define the best strategy and be efficient when it comes to reacting to changing conditions.” 

F1 heads into the start of its third triple-header of races which begins this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, the scene of Leclerc’s maiden grand prix victory for Ferrari. 

But Leclerc is braced for a much tougher outing in Belgium this time around before Ferrari heads to its home race at Monza and its 1000th grand prix at Mugello in September. 

“In terms of expectations, it will be tougher for us in terms of performance this time around as we do not have the same level of competitiveness as we did in 2019,” he explained. 

“However, we have seen that anything can happen at this track, especially with the unpredictable weather.

“As a team, we will have to work very hard to do all we can to get the most out of the car right from Friday. In free practice, we must gather all the information needed to pick the best strategy for qualifying and especially for the race.”

 

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