Leclerc Ready to Put Bahrain in the Rearview Mirror

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Behind the wheel, Charles Leclerc was doing everything that he needed to do in Bahrain. He was pacing the field, running consecutive clean laps as he held a steady advantage over the field.

Ultimately, he was not able to celebrate in victory lane as engine problems slowed his Ferrari, resulting in Mercedes’ teammates Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas both being able to get by. As a result, Leclerc crossed the finish line with a third-place finish.

Fortunately, Ferrari was able to find the route of the problem. Although
Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto initially believed they had dropped a cylinder, that was not the case. Instead, they have traced the fault to a “short circuit within an injection control unit.” They added “this type of problem had never been seen before on the component in question.”

This is good news for Ferrari, as that means Leclerc can use the same power unit for the Chinese Grand Prix. If he would’ve had to change engines this early in the year, it could have brought forth serious consequences moving forward.

The rule book limits the number of the engines components each driver can use through a season. If you begin having issues early in the year, going over those limits could’ve brought Leclerc grid penalties later on.

While it stung to not be able to score his first career Grand Prix at Bahrain, Leclerc has now limited the pain experienced by the issue with salvaging a podium result and future re precautions. He also handled the entire situation with class and respect, earning praise from fans and competitors alike.

“In Leclerc, I think we’re seeing a young champion in the making who was the emotional winner [on Sunday],” Merecedes’ team boss Toto Wolff said. “[He was the] fastest man and fastest machine. He got all the cruel side of motor racing and it was our [good] fortune.

“He has a good personality. He is a humble young man and he’s very fast. The combination between speed, personality and being able to temper your emotions in both directions is a great ingredient.

“I know that many other drivers who have the lion in them, like he certainly has, would have reacted in a much more controversial way about the third place and would have been angry and would have displayed that. None of that you see with Charles.”

While an outburst would have enabled the issue to stay in people’s minds and question his future in the sport, he just gave everybody another reason as to why he will be apart of Ferarri’s future for years to come.

Considering the pace shown by Ferrari in contrast to their rivals, Leclerc will likely be in the running for wins moving forward – even as early as this weekend in China.

Certainly as they say, a win cures everything.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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Ashley McCubbin is currently studying journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber while writing for multiple websites. She also serves on the managing staff for a select few. Born in North York, Ontario, McCubbin currently lives in Bradford, Ontario and spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area where she enjoys taking photos and working on websites.

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