Binotto urges Leclerc to use power advantage at Silverstone to ‘attack’ Verstappen

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has revealed that a new power unit will be fitted in Charles Leclerc's F1-75 ahead of the British GP.

Charles Leclerc will be licking his lips ahead of the upcoming British Grand Prix, as a new power unit will be at his disposal following a painful couple of rounds.

Due to his PU failure at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Leclerc had not choice but to take an abundance of grid penalties at the recent Canadian Grand Prix.

The Monegasque driver needed a number of new engine components, after suffering a plethora of PU issues already this season.

Leclerc started last in Canada as a result, however, the number 16 drove superbly to finish 5th at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

READ: Norris reveals key weakness of driver set to replace Ricciardo at McLaren

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto spoke in Montreal about how the team were aware of the penalties they’d have to face at the most recent round.

“We came into this weekend knowing it would be a case of damage limitation,” Binotto admitted following the Canadian GP.

“[It was] something we decided very soon after Baku.

“It’s something that [Charles] was aware of many days, so he had time to digest and be prepared for the race weekend.

Article continues below

“He was focusing on his race weekend, knowing that he would [start] from the back of the grid for the race.

“Even his Friday programme, Saturday programme was focused on the high-fuel runs, just to make sure that he was prepared for the race itself.”

It was actually one of Leclerc’s strongest races this season, after a mega 41-lap opening stint.

A podium was looking like a real possibility for the 24-year-old, before a long pit-stop ended any hopes of a surprise rostrum finish.

Nevertheless, Leclerc left Canada fully aware that himself and the team “maximised” their potential.

“I gave it my all,” said Leclerc.

“It never feels good to finish in P5, but considering where we started and the way that the race unfolded, it was the best result we could bring home.

“It was just one of those races where you had to maximize the points and that’s exactly what we did today.”

Binotto was quick to speak in high spirits of his driver following the previous round, with the team principal recognising that Leclerc “did his very best”.

“Limiting the damage, starting from the back, finishing fifth is still a good race result,” told Binotto.

“Charles did his very best, making up 14 places from the back row.”

Leclerc and Ferrari can very much put their recent struggles behind them, with Silverstone set to be a thrilling weekend for the Italian team.

The Monegasque will have a new PU for the British GP, meaning the title challenger “can attack” ahead of the summer break.

“Now we’ve got a fresh power unit for the next races,” Binotto revealed.

“We’ve got four races to the summer break that will be important for him, where he can attack and try to recover some points if he can.”

READ: Aston Martin boss praises Vettel for following team orders as Stroll was ‘released’

Leclerc will be looking to finish the first-half of the season by cutting his deficit to Max Verstappen by as much as possible, starting with one of his “favourite circuits”.

“I’m looking forward to Silverstone now,” added Leclerc.

“It’s one of my favourite circuits on the calendar. Hopefully we can score some big points there.”

Binotto is equally excited ahead of Silverstone, where he expects his side to be right at the front.

The Ferrari boss though is still acutely aware of the team’s reliability problems, which they must gain a thorough understanding of.

“[Canada was] a race that demonstrated that reliability problems can affect everyone in the current Formula 1 [field],” he said.

“We have some of these issues and, back in Maranello, we are working flat out to fix them definitively.

“Now we head to Silverstone, where we expect our rivals to introduce some updates, but we certainly intend to be competitive there,” concluded Binotto.