Following his engine failure at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Ferrari will have to fit fresh control electronics and energy store components onto Leclerc’s car, according to motor.es.
Such changes would trigger an automatic 10-place grid drop for the second race of the season in Jeddah and put Leclerc on the back foot heading into the weekend.
Each driver is permitted just two energy stores for the entire season and Leclerc had already used up half of his allocation when Ferrari opted to replace power unit components ahead of the Bahrain GP.
Leclerc was then forced to retire from third place in the race due to an engine issue.
The Monegasque trails Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by 25 points after his DNF and already appears to have a mountain to climb if he is to win the 2023 world title.
Reliability was one of the key priorities for new team principal Fred Vasseur to fix over the winter but it seems like Ferrari have so far been unable to shake-off the gremlins that plagued their 2022 campaign.
Ferrari are yet to confirm if the reports are true but the Italian outfit is known to have conducted a thorough investigation into Leclerc’s race-ending issue.
“We never expected to have something like this because it’s the first time that we have had it and we haven’t faced the same issue at all during the six or seven thousand kilometres that we did with the engine last week, with the three teams [Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Haas], and… with the dyno,” Vasseur said after the Bahrain GP.
“We had an issue on the engine and we have to investigate to understand what exactly has happened. It’s not the engine itself, but it’s an accessory. I would say that it’s a shame but it’s the real picture of the situation… it is what it is.”