Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Put On Different Tangents Ahead of Ferrari’s New Engine Upgrade Plan

Published 08/26/2021, 2:30 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 30, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix REUTERS/Florion Goga


After enduring a disappointing 2020 F1 season, Ferrari are making a stunning comeback this season. In the 11 races before the summer break, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz brought the Italian outfit level on points with McLaren. This is impressive, since McLaren finished third in last season’s championship, while Ferrari finished sixth.

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However, the Hungarian Grand Prix provided a bag of mixed news for the Italian outfit. While Sainz steered clear of trouble, Leclerc faces a difficult time ahead due to the damage he suffered at the Hungaroring.

Charles Leclerc will garner a grid penalty for engine replacement

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Leclerc qualified an impressive P7 at the Hungaroring. However, chaos on the opening lap saw Lance Stroll crash into the Monegasque. The impact of the crash didn’t just end his race, but caused massive damage to the Ferrari.

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021 Marshals remove the car of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc after he retires from the race REUTERS/Florion Goga

In fact, the crash damaged the power unit on Leclerc’s car as well. This forces him to field a new one for the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix. This will be the third power unit change of the season. Later this season, Leclerc revealed the Italian outfit will bring another power unit upgrade.

The 23-year-old said“I know there will be an update, and that it will be on the hybrid part of the engine, but I don’t know yet when it will be available.” (Quotes translated from Google)

Ferrari will look to their new power unit as a trump card in getting the better of McLaren this season. Hence, they need to plan their timing perfectly since Leclerc will take a penalty for using his fourth power unit.

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Carlos Sainz is in a better position with the issue

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Sainz avoided the opening lap disaster to finish third in Hungary. In addition, the third power unit he tried during free practice at the Hungaroring had a turbocharger issue, which the team resolved.

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 30, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr in action during practice REUTERS/Florion Goga

Hence, his second power unit will feature on Friday, with the third power unit likely to feature later. Although he could face a penalty along with Leclerc for the new engine, they could still challenge McLaren if they time it right.

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The permutations and combinations are endless for this intense battle for third. Can Ferrari overcome an inevitable penalty with a more powerful engine unit? Or will McLaren retain their title of the ‘Best of the Rest’? One thing is certain: the next 12 races promise nothing short of high-octane drama.

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Sanket Nair

643 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management graduate, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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