Water leak forces McLaren early power unit change for Sainz

Hungaroring, Budapest

Hungarian Grand Prix – McLaren have confirmed they have needed to change power units on Carlos Sainz’ car ahead of schedule, due to a water leak.

Carlos Sainz has needed to change power units ahead of the originally planned schedule, say McLaren after the first practice session in Hungary.

The Spaniard, who classified P9 behind teammate Lando Norris in FP1, missed around quarter of an hour of track time towards the end of the session. McLaren then confirmed a water pressure issue had been detected on his Renault power unit, meaning they were in the process of changing it out for his race power unit.

This new fitted engine was scheduled to be fitted after FP2 anyway and is from his existing pool of engines, meaning he will not be hit with any penalties on this occasion.

He was able to rejoin the action about halfway through FP2 although, with the weather having turned to cooler and damper conditions since, his preparation for the rest of the weekend has been far from ideal.

On the other side of the garage, Lando Norris was able to take part in FP1 normally, but missed the majority of the second session with a suspected hydraulic leak. The team say they are currently investigating the issue.

Both Sainz and Norris are already at their permitted parts allocation limits for 2019, meaning any changes for new components will trigger an automatic grid penalty for the event the changes are made in.

Sainz finished P5 last time out in Germany, despite a mid-race spin, while Lando Norris retired from the race as a result of a technical problem. The problem saw him pull over with an apparent loss of power, but the problem reportedly didn’t damage the engine, meaning that it can be used again. It’s not clear yet whether this is the same unit that is fitted for practice on Friday.

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Thomas Maher

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