A short circuit in an injection system control unit has been identified as the culprit behind the engine problem that denied Charles Leclerc a first Formula 1 victory in Bahrain two weeks ago.
The 21-year-old had a comfortable lead over the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton when the problem arose, slowing his Ferrari to the tune of 5.0s per lap and ultimately dropping him back to third place. According to Ferrari, the glitch that ruined the Leclerc’s race had never been seen before on the affected component, and it plans to run the same power unit in Leclerc’s car for this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said that avoiding similar disasters will be a priority in Shanghai, where the team is looking for a result after watching Mercedes win the opening two races of the season.
“The third round of the season takes place at a track that is different in character to those in Melbourne and Bahrain,” he said. “Here, we have a very long straight and corners that put an uncommon amount of load on the front end. For our part, we want to verify that the SF90 is also competitive on this type of track and ensure that the reliability problems we had in Bahrain are not repeated. As usual, we want to do well and take on our competitors. It will be race number 1000 in the history of Formula 1, which is a further reason to try and excel.”