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Ferrari learn fate of Leclerc's Baku engine as team ponder penalty plan

Charles Leclerc was in the fight for victory at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and would have won "comfortably", according to Ferrari, had he not suffered a retirement.

Ferrari have provided an update on Charles Leclerc's power unit following his retirement from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Leclerc was fighting Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen for the win in Baku when he suffered a sudden and catastrophic engine failure. The problem was clear for all to see, with smoke pouring from the exhaust of the Monegasque's F1-75, only moments after teammate Carlos Sainz had retired with a hydraulic issue. Leclerc's engine was flown back to Maranello, Italy, where it was inspected by the team's engine department who have now concluded that the power unit is damaged "beyond repair".

The cause of Leclerc's engine failure in Baku

Following their investigations, Ferrari believe that one possible cause for Leclerc's power unit failure in Azerbaijan is that the blow-out was a consequence of the earlier problem he suffered in Spain. It is thought that undetected damage caused by the Monegasque's retirement in Barcelona may have triggered the issue in Baku. The team are now working on countermeasures to strengthen the power unit for future races, and have stated that the situation is "under control".

No penalty for Leclerc for the Canadian Grand Prix – yet

Ferrari will need to replace the power unit in Leclerc's car for the race weekend in Montreal. That will take the 24-year-old onto his third engine of the season, the maximum allowed before a penalty is issued. It means Leclerc is highly likely to be hit with a penalty at some stage this season, with discussions underway over when best to take the penalty, which Leclerc admitted prior to Free Practice 1 could be taken this weekend. "Well, obviously we are not in the best situation possible," Leclerc told media, including RacingNews365.com . "I think there are still ongoing discussions on the power unit situation. It is up for us to choose the best track where to get a penalty. "Montreal is one of the tracks where it is easier to overtake but there are also some other tracks in the next three or four races where it's easier to overtake too. "We'll discuss and try and take the best decision from that." However, with FIA documents confirming that Leclerc has taken on a new internal combustion engine, MGU-K and MGU-H for the weekend – but not yet a turbo – it currently looks like the Monegasque will not take a penalty for now. Meanwhile, Yuki Tsunoda will start from the back of the grid after going over his season-allowed limit of power units.

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