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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc reacts to 10-place grid penalty at Montreal

Charles Leclerc's quest to close the gap to Max Verstappen in the 2022 F1 Drivers' Championship did not start well at Montreal, with the Monegasque facing a 10-place grid drop due to excessive component usage. But Leclerc is remaining upbeat over his prospects in Sunday's race.

Leclerc Canada
To news overview © XPB

Charles Leclerc says the component change which will result in him dropping 10 places on the grid for the Canadian Grand Prix was the "best decision".

After Leclerc retired from the lead last weekend in Baku with a spectacular engine failure, Ferrari announced that the Monegasque would be fitted with his third electronics control unit of 2022 for the Montreal event.

With teams only permitted a maximum of two electronics control units per season, Leclerc is obliged to drop 10 places on the grid for Sunday's race.

After finishing fifth in FP1, Leclerc ended FP2 in second spot, just 0.081s shy of pacesetter Max Verstappen, and the Monegasque looked to accentuate the positive after Friday's running.

"Well, obviously I'm starting a little bit more in the back," Leclerc told media, including RacingNews365.com, of his penalty.

"But I think it was the best decision to make so let's see how it goes.

"Overtaking was a little bit more difficult than I expected today, but the pace is there, so hopefully we can come back to where we want to be."

"It's close" between Ferrari and Red Bull, says Leclerc

After winning two of the first three Grands Prix of 2022 and assuming the championship lead, Leclerc has slipped back in recent races as Red Bull have been firmly in the ascendancy, and a couple of mechanical retirements mean there has been an 80-point swing from Leclerc to Max Verstappen over the past five races.

Ferrari are also now 80 points adrift of Red Bull in the Constructors' Championship, though Leclerc was keen to stress that there wasn't much between the two teams during Friday practice.

"It is pretty close," Leclerc said of the pace differential at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

"The race pace we need to work on.

"It's a bit difficult to have a clear picture because I was on a different compound all the time, but overall, it didn't look too bad, so that's good."

In his quest to move through the field on Sunday, Leclerc may take comfort from the fact that the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has historically thrown up changeable and dramatic races, with Jenson Button famously winning in 2011 after having been last at one point.

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