Charles Leclerc Trivializes Upgraded Hybrid Ferrari PU

Published 10/07/2021, 9:54 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 7, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during a press conference ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Sedat Suna


Ferrari has a tight battle with McLaren ahead of them. Just as unpredictable as the title battle, the game swings to either team each weekend. After the McLaren 1-2 in Monza, the gap between the teams had increased. In Sochi, Sainz brought home 15 points with the podium finish. Now as the Spaniard looks to start Sunday’s race with a new PU, Charles Leclerc plays down the upgraded engine.

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Ahead of the Turkish GP, Leclerc reviewed his experience with the new PU at Sochi. “It is a step in the right direction, but it is not a game-changer.” 

Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 26, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

This wouldn’t be good news for Carlos Sainz, who undertakes the penalty on Sunday for the same upgrade on his PU. The Italian team has introduced a new hybrid system to the chassis, which is supposedly a trial to their 2022 unit. According to the team, there was an improvement in performance; Leclerc’s P15 finish at Sochi juxtaposing Ferrari.

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Although Leclerc climbed to 12th in no time, the upgrade may be good, but is it good enough to challenge the improving McLarens?

Charles Leclerc ready for Turkish challenge

Although strategies and the rain botched the Monegasque’s race in Russia, he looks forward to making up for it in Istanbul. Reflecting on the last time he was on the Intercity circuit, Leclerc said, “It didn’t end well for me. But while everyone was complaining about grip problems, it wasn’t a bad weekend for us.”

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In 2020, Leclerc was racing for a podium position in the Turkish GP; a last-minute spin off the ice-rink pushed him to fourth. The chances of rain don’t baffle the Ferrari driver. “We are ready in any case,whether the grip conditions are the same as last year or better. If they were still difficult, maybe it could be an advantage for us.”

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – November 14, 2020 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Tolga Bozoglu

As Charles Leclerc gets ready for the fixture at Intercity Park, he and his teammate would need to bring home some crucial points for the battle against McLaren. As Sainz starts from the back of the grid, the charge to points, although difficult, should be easy for the skillful driver.

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An even track, the Park doesn’t favor either team. Will the Italian team’s upgraded engines pose a threat to the McLaren machines?

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Shreya Sanjeev

470 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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