Leclerc set for Baku gearbox change without penalty

leclerc ferrari monaco 2021 race sea

Ferrari will change the gearbox on Charles Leclerc’s car after he sat out the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix when it packed in on the way to the grid with a technical issue; he would have started from pole.

After qualifying, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto was adamant, after Leclerc binned, that there was no problem with the gearbox hence why they did not change it after contact with the Monte-Carlo Armco.

According to the team, the problem was caused by “left side driveshaft fixing to the wheel” on the warm-up lap. Not the gearbox! Which they were keen to let everyone know. However now, ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the gearbox will be swapped out.

Corriere dello Sport reports that Ferrari will mount a completely new gearbox on Charles’s SF21, essentially for two reasons:

  • the regulation allows for replacement without any penalty despite the fact that the PU has done six races in a row; thus Charles’s failure to start in Monaco is equivalent to retirement;
  • in the light of the first point, it would make no sense to risk maintaining a change that has suffered a blow anyway (the impact at the Piscine) and has four weekends lifespan left.

The replacement gearbox for Baku will be without penalty because after such a retirement (DNS) the gearbox can be replaced, irrespective of the mileage.

After Monaco, Leclerc and teammate Carlos Sainz travelled south to nearby Paul Ricard for two days of testing the 18-inch wet weather Pirelli F1 tyres.