Azerbaijan GP: Leclerc’s championship set to fall apart as he faces penalties

Charles Leclerc suffered an engine failure while leading the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc could be facing a grid drop later this season after his engine failure in Azerbaijan that cost him victory.

The Monegasque was given a new engine for the Monaco Grand Prix after the failure in Spain, but that was unable to last two races when he suffered a smoky exit from the race while leading proceedings.

It followed team-mate Carlos Sainz’s race-ending issue a few laps prior, and Sunday’s race was the first time that no Ferrari-powered car has finished in the top 10 this season.

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Understandably, the result is agonising for the man who has now failed to convert any of his last four pole positions – the first time that has happened since 2002.

“It hurts,” Leclerc told Sky Sports.

“We really need to look into that for it to not happen again, I don’t really find the right words to describe [it].

“Obviously, it’s very disappointing but yeah… I don’t know, we really need to look into it.”

Max Verstappen went on to win the race and extend his championship lead, and each of Leclerc’s two victories came after the Dutchman retired with a reliability issue in Bahrain and Australia.

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As a result, the 24-year-old is not sure what has gone wrong since the third round of the season.

“I don’t know, we’ve been fast and we didn’t have particularly big problems in the first part of the season,” explained Leclerc.

“Now it seems that we have a bit more compared to the beginning of the season but we didn’t change massive things, if anything we made the thing better.

“So, it’s difficult to understand for now but we will have to analyse, obviously I don’t have the full picture of what happened today.

“Just personally, again it hurts.”

As for penalties, there have been reports that Leclerc will be given new electrical components ahead of the British Grand Prix, but he would not be given them until Silverstone to avoid penalties.

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He is not sure if he will face a grid drop in Canada, but that is not something he is focused on having suffered a devastating result.

“I really don’t know for now,” he said.

“I don’t know, I have no news, obviously there is still the disappointment, I came from the car straight to here.

“I didn’t speak to anybody from the team so I don’t know what’s going on.”

The result means that Leclerc loses second in the Drivers’ Championship to Sergio Perez, who completed a Red Bull one-two behind the reigning champion.

However, with 14 races left to go this season, there is plenty of time for Ferrari to get things together and keep themselves in the hunt.