Leclerc joins Perez and Alonso with grid drop for US GP

charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc will take a 10-place grid drop for Sunday’s United States Grand Prix due to engine and turbocharger changes.

The penalty is a blow to Ferrari’s hopes of denying Red Bull the 2022 Formula 1 constructors’ title for another week, their first since Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel did the business for them in 2013.

Mercedes were F1 champions since 2014, for an unprecedented eight years in a row, a streak that is now over.

To delay the inevitable, Ferrari must score 19 points more than Red Bull at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas to keep the 2022 F1 constructors’ title battle alive until next weekend’s race in Mexico City.

Leclerc is battling Red Bull’s Sergio Perez for second place overall and is one point behind the Mexican, who incurred a five-place grid drop on Friday, setting the stage for an intriguing battle between the pair as they make their way upfield.

The sport’s governing FIA said Leclerc had triggered the drop by taking a sixth internal combustion engine and turbocharger for final practice. The Monegasque ended FP3, second fastest 0.320s shy of ther top time set by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Alpine’s double F1 world champion Fernando Alonso will have a five-place penalty on Sunday, the occasion of his 353rd Grand Prix start. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)