Why Ferrari Didn’t Notice Leclerc’s Faulty Driveshaft Despite Thorough Checks

Published 05/28/2021, 3:04 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – The car of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc is recovered after he crashed in qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier


The moment F1 announced that Charles Leclerc would not be starting the Monaco GP race, a swarm of hatred engulfed the Ferrari F1 team.

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Most of the fans criticized the Reds for failing to address the issue in the Monegasque’s car and opting to go into the race without replacing either the gearbox or the chassis.

However, Mattia Binotto, eventually clarified that the gearbox had nothing to do with Leclerc’s DNS at his home Grand Prix. Instead, it was the driveshaft that obstructed Leclerc from going after his first race win at home.

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And considering the lack of time, Ferrari had to abort the mission and let Leclerc take a painful walk back to his garage. But many are still wondering how the team failed to notice the damage despite two complete rounds of checks following the crash.

Why Ferrari couldn’t spot the damage

According to Auto Motor Und Sport, Ferrari were able to detect the damage only after bringing the car into Maranello for an in-depth analysis.

During the analysis in the factory, Ferrari managed to detect a very tiny crack in the wheel hub. It was around the exact point where the drive shaft starts. Furthermore, the wave looked very much normal, depicting no damage to the driveshaft.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 22, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc celebrates pole position after qualifying Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier

Hence, the only way the Reds could have identified the damage was by using a scrupulous examination through ultrasound.

And this puts an end to the string of criticisms that Ferrari had been facing since the start of the Monaco GP race. Binotto, too, clarified that changing the gearbox wouldn’t have changed Leclerc’s fate.

Even if we had changed the gearbox, the damage would have occurred,” the Italian said.

Maranello outfit Surprised driveshaft had damage

To start off, the Leclerc‘s crash never looked severe, as the impact was around a rather slow-speed corner of turn 16. And the fact that neither the chassis nor the gearbox suffered damages says it all.

However, the Ferrari mechanics were quite surprised when they realized the driveshaft had taken a bit of the blow. What’s more, it was extremely unusual to see that specific component ending up with a crack from the impact.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during qualifying REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

It was the impact around the second bend into the swimming pool chicane that caused such minor yet significant damage to Leclerc’s car. It was overall a tough race weekend for Leclerc and his crew.

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However, the good news is Ferrari are looking strong enough to extend their dominance into the approaching weekend in Baku as well. Hence, can Leclerc get his redemption at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix? Only time will tell.

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Rohit Kumar

763 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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