No engine problem for Leclerc in Baku, just oversights


Charles Leclerc stands in the Ferrari garage. Azerbaijan, June 2022. Credit: PA Images

Charles Leclerc revealed that his loss of engine power on Friday in Baku was caused by his memory, not a problem.

Leclerc may have dominated the second practice session before the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, but in the latter stages of that session there was a lot of concern on his part.

The Monegasque driver took to team radio to report a loss of power to the Ferrari crew, given the failure they had in Barcelona, ​​costing Leclerc the lead and most likely the win also.

Nevertheless, Ferrari was convinced in Baku that the power unit was working well, and it turned out that it was.

Rather than an infiltrating gremlin, Leclerc explained that he changed a setting and then forgot to reverse it, which led to this loss of power.

“Actually it wasn’t a PSU issue,” he told reporters after FP2.

“It was just me who forgot that I had changed something, which obviously made me lose power. But yeah, nothing weird.

Many drivers escaped during testing in Baku, triggering a plethora of yellow flags and destroyed thrust towers.

As such, Leclerc felt like no rider, including himself, was able to achieve a truly representative FP2 time on the soft tyre.

But the positives of Ferrari’s sessions, according to Leclerc, were that tire degradation and race pace seemed strong.

“We had a difficult Friday because overall I think we improved a lot from FP1 to FP2, but there is still another step that we have to do from today to tomorrow,” he said. he declared.

“I also feel like in FP2 nobody really did a lap and neither did we – in fact I think Max [Verstappen] and Carlos [Sainz] didn’t actually improve the apps, so there are still a lot of question marks.

“I think the positive takeaway from today is that the tire degradation was good and the race pace was very high, so that’s good.”

Despite Ferrari’s impressive performance, porpoising was a real problem for the Scuderia on Friday, with the F1-75 bouncing hard on the straights.

And Sainz, who had previously worried about the long-term health implications of the rebound, said the matter needed to be looked into as it appeared to affect him more than Leclerc.

“Well, that’s definitely something I’m looking into because today for some reason I had a really hard time with this phenomenon that hasn’t been there in the last few races,” he said. he declared.

“And it looked particularly bad on my side of the garage, so that’s something I have to dig into the data with the engineers because it’s something really annoying around here.

“It took away a bit of confidence on the straights and under braking, so hopefully tomorrow we can sort that out.”

That being said, Sainz felt he had been trending positively throughout the day.

“With these new cars you can feel the bumps and challenges of this circuit much more,” he said.

“But it was a good day, I think we took good steps as a team, we moved in the right direction with the car and we certainly felt more competitive in FP2 than in FP1, while feeling a little more comfortable, so we’ll get to that.

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