Leclerc hampered by cooling checks as Ferrari revert to old spec electronics

Shanghai, China

Chinese Grand Prix – Charles Leclerc’s Friday preparation took a hit during FP2, as Ferrari needed to carry out checks on his SF90.

Having been at the sharp end of the timing screens in FP1 while running the Medium tyre, Charles Leclerc finished the day in P7 after missing most of FP2. Completing just thirteen laps in that session, Leclerc was kept in the garage while his SF90 was checked out for cooling issues after engineers spotted something amiss.

Despite this, the star of the Bahrain Grand Prix wasn’t displeased with his day’s efforts: “I got a good feeling from the SF90 today. There is still a bit of work to do in terms of the balance, but overall I’m pleased with the work we did. It’s a shame I wasn’t able to do a long run test, because it would have been useful for the race, but I’m not worried about that. We have all the information we need to do well and now, it’s just a case of putting everything together for qualifying, especially as I expect it to be very close between us and our competitors.”

While Leclerc arrives in China as Formula 1’s most recent new podium finisher, it could have been so much more. Leading at Sakhir in the closing stages of the race, the Ferrari driver’s lead was wiped out when he encountered a power unit issue. He eventually managed to finish in P3 as a Safety Car saved him from falling down the order further.

As a result of the problem, Ferrari, along with engine customers Haas, will use an older spec control electronics for this weekend.

“What we did here in China was simply to revert to an old specification.” said team boss Mattia Binotto. “A specification we know pretty well – we have good statistics in terms of quality and hopefully that will be sufficient.”

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Thomas Maher

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