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Mattia Binotto

Binotto warns rivals: Leclerc can attack with new engine

Charles Leclerc had to work his way through the field at the Canadian Grand Prix after starting the race in P19 due to engine penalties. However, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto is confident that this will allow the driver to go on the attack in upcoming races.

Leclerc Spain
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Mattia Binotto has warned Ferrari's rivals that Charles Leclerc is ready to "attack" now that he has a new power unit in his F1-75.

The Monegasque was forced to start the Canadian Grand Prix from the back of the grid after taking engine penalties. This meant that he had to put in a recovery drive during the race, and eventually finished in P5.

With this following on from a DNF in Azerbaijan, Leclerc has lost ground to leader Max Verstappen in the World Championship. The Dutchman now has a 46-point lead over second-placed Sergio Perez, while Leclerc trails Perez by three points.

Leclerc had time to prepare for Canada penalty

Binotto admits that the team had made the decision to change the engine in advance of arriving in Montreal, meaning that Leclerc was able to prepare in the knowledge that he would be starting from the back of the field.

"[It was] something we decided very soon after Baku," Binotto told media, including RacingNews365.com.

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

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

Binotto confident that Leclerc can fight back

Binotto can empathise with the frustrations that faced Leclerc during the race in Canada, in which he found himself stuck in traffic on more than one occasion.

"It's certainly a frustrating situation for a driver," the team boss said.

"The race [required] a lot of patience, which I think has been the case. Because sometimes you would like to overtake but cannot, maybe because there is a DRS [Drag Reduction System] train or because your tyres are worn.

"But limiting the damage, starting from the back, finishing fifth is still a good race result."

With four races to go before F1 embarks on its summer break, Bintto is confident that Leclerc now has the tools to challenge.

"Now we've got a fresh power unit for the next races," he continued.

"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."

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