Charles Leclerc gets a new, improved power source for the Russian Grand Prix. Leclerc will have to start the race at the Sochi Autodrom from the back, but can count on slightly more power due to the upgrade to the hybrid system.
Ferrari announced its plans to introduce a new, improved engine earlier this year. What exactly they would tackle was still unknown at the time, until Charles Leclerc indicated at a press conference that it would be the hybrid system. Teams are allowed to change all parts of the power unit once per season, but most teams had already done so before the start of this season. However, Ferrari still had a few parts on the 2020 specification, which allowed them to adjust these parts.
Ferrari has now announced that it is indeed now introducing a new power source for Leclerc in Russia. The Monaco driver will face a grid penalty that will mean he will have to start from the back, as he lost one of his three bikes from the group in the crash with Lance Stroll in Hungary. The upgraded engine is reportedly supposed to produce about ten horsepower more, which could be a useful boost in the battle with McLaren.
“The main goal is to gain experience before 2022,” the team said in a preview of the Russian Grand Prix. “A lot of energy has been put into this, both technically and logistically, and in order to be able to use it as soon as possible, the introduction will be spread between the drivers.” Ferrari has chosen to give Leclerc the new engine ‘as a precaution’ because of the engine lost in Hungary. Carlos Sainz will have to wait for the new power source for the time being. Ferrari will only decide on the engine placement after an “evaluation of the right compromise between competitiveness and the impact of the penalty”.