On Wednesday, Ferrari announced that Leclerc will start the Russian Grand Prix from the back of the grid after taking a fourth power unit.

Leclerc will run Ferrari’s new engine as it looks to “gain experience” for 2022 while fighting McLaren for third in the constructors’ championship this year.

Speaking about it ahead of the weekend in Sochi, Leclerc said: “On paper, it is a little bit better and obviously whenever we have something a little bit better we try to bring it on track and yeah, we expect it to be a little bit better, we don’t expect any big, big changes, but something that goes in the right direction.”

Leclerc is confident if Ferrari has the pace that he will be able to recover from the back of the grid.

“For now, the forecast is rain, so if that is the case it might be an unpredictable race, and yeah, hopefully, it will play in our favour,” Leclerc added. “If it is dry, if we have the pace, it is still a track where we can overtake, let’s see how it goes.”

Teammate Carlos Sainz will not run the upgraded engine, but he’s expected to do so at some point later in the season.

Explaining why he hasn’t taken a fresh engine in Russia, he explained: “There’s been a lot of thought about when and how to put this new power unit. In the end we had a look at the pool of items we have - the three power units - and obviously Charles was damaged since the accident he had in Hungary because someone crashed into him, so he’s basically a lot tighter on parts than I am.

“For him, it was pretty urgent to try and get the fourth PU ready. The team obviously did a pretty big effort to try and bring this item forward, and I’m happy that he will get the first test on it and see how it works. It will be a good experiment for us, also regarding next year as it is a development path we want to follow into next year’s engine, which as you guys know we have a bit of homework to do there.

“I will take it as soon as the compromise between starting last and the championship and the circuit allows me - with the parts I have available - to put it on the car.”