Home Sport Ferrari team not to blame for costly engine issues insists Leclerc

Ferrari team not to blame for costly engine issues insists Leclerc

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Two weeks after his emotional triumph for Ferrari at his home Monaco Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc on Sunday refused to blame his team after both he and Carlos Sainz failed to finish the Canadian Grand Prix.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (right) chats to teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. Picture: REUTERS, Jennifer Lorenzini

TWO WEEKS after his emotional triumph for Ferrari at his home Monaco Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc on Sunday refused to blame his team after both he and Carlos Sainz failed to finish the Canadian Grand Prix.

He said a problem with his car’s power unit had wrecked his hopes of a strong race despite starting from 11th on the grid, one place ahead of Sainz, as the team experienced their first failure to reach Q3 since 2021.

“Honestly, there’s not much more to say apart from the engine issue cost us everything,” he said.

“At one point, we decided we tried to go on the slicks – we had to try something because with our engine issues we would have been out of the points anyway.

“That was it really. We were losing a second-and-a-half on the first straight, so we’ve got to look into the engine issue because it’s going to be tricky for the rest of the season.”

He said he wanted to avoid any over-reactions.

“As much as we didn’t overreact after Monaco, we shouldn’t overreact after this one, but this one hurts.

“It’s big points for the team … that we are going to lose against our competitors. And yeah, engine-wise, it’s something that we need to look at.

“(On Saturday), we missed Q3 by three hundredths of a second. We were definitely not feeling good with the car and we’ve got to work on that and try to understand what went wrong.”

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, said he had driven “one of the worst races” of his long career when he finished fourth behind Mercedes teammate George Russell.

Hamilton said he believed his car was capable of winning, but that he had made a lot of mistakes in his 341st race, in which Russell passed him in the closing laps to snatch away his first podium finish this year on one of his favourite tracks.

“Over the weekend, it’s a poor performance from myself,” he said. “Some other things came into it yesterday, mostly myself, but then today, it’s one of the worst races I’ve driven. Lots of mistakes.

“Of course, if I qualified better I would have been in a better position …

“But it is becoming a car we can fight with and that’s a real positive, going into the next part of the season. It’s going to be a close battle and if I get my head on right, I’ll get better results.

“I think this weekend the car was capable of winning. That’s such a great feeling so we’ll take the points and keep on trying.”

Hamilton holds the joint record of seven wins and six poles at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve where he claimed his maiden victory, with McLaren, in 2007.

AFP

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