Ferrari track down ECU issue behind Leclerc retirement

Ferrari says that it is confident that it has tackled the electrical issue that caused Charles Leclerc to... The post Ferrari track down ECU issue behind Leclerc retirement appeared first on F1i.com.

Ferrari track down ECU issue behind Leclerc retirement

Ferrari says that it is confident that it has tackled the electrical issue that caused Charles Leclerc to spin out of the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Monegasque had briefly been running as high as second place before his engine cut out at the final chicane on lap 36, forcing him to retire from the race. His team mate Sebastian Leclerc went on to pick up seventh place on a one-stop strategy.

"In Barcelona we paid a high price for a lack of reliability," commented the team's head of power unit Enrico Gualtieri this week ahead of this week's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

"In fact we have now identified the problem with the electronic control unit that caused Charles’ retirement," he said.

If it's required, Leclerc can take a new control electronics element without penalty as he's still within the permitted number of changes allowed during the course of the season.

However the ECU headache is just one of a number of problems faced by the team this season, with a limit on straight-line leaving them running behind rivals Mercedes and Red Bull.

"In this first part of the season we have seen the championship pretty much divided into two groups," Gualtieri conceded. "On the one hand, three drivers who seem to be uncatchable; and on the other, another ten or so all within a few tenths of one another.

"We also suffered from not maximising our qualifying performance, which put us in a difficult situation in the race," he added.

"Aware of the current difficulties, we have to focus on our work in preparing for [Spa]," he continued. "The main aim is to ensure the drivers can get the most out of the SF1000.

"We must optimise the car-PU package, work well in the garage, define the best strategy and be efficient when it comes to reacting to changing conditions. Every thousandth of a second counts, every decision can make the difference".

Gualtieri acknowledged that Spa was one of the most demanding circuits on the calendar and would pose a formidable challenge to the team this weekend.

"It’s particularly difficult to find the perfect car balance for its entire seven kilometres," he commented. "In terms of Power Unit management, the track is pretty demanding with over a minute spent at full throttle.

"It’s important therefore to have enough power – you can never have too much – but you also want good driveability, especially when it comes to the first and last corners.

"Apart from its power output, energy recovery through the MGU-H is also key, so that the overall efficiency of the Power Unit is what counts.

"To all this you can add unpredictable weather with different conditions at various points on the circuit, so the brain teaser is really complete."

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF1000 retired from the race.

Gualtieri's words look prophetic, with unsettled conditions forecast for the weekend even before factoring in the Ardennes' unique micro climate that can deliver rain out of a clear sky.

While a mainly dry day is forecast for Saturday, rain is expected for the race with temperatures likely to be an unusually cool 16C.

Given Ferrari's current problems, the changeable weather might actually be on Ferrari's side this year.

"We have seen that anything can happen at this track, especially with the unpredictable weather," commented Leclerc, who claimed his maiden F1 victory at Spa one year ago.

"It will be tougher for us in terms of performance this time around as we do not have the same level of competitivness as we did in 2019

"We will have to work very hard to do all we can to get the most out of the car right from Friday," he added.

"In free practice, we must gather all the information needed to pick the best strategy for qualifying and especially for the race".

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Stroll's Belgian GP points to help wildfire relief efforts in California

Lance Stroll will donate $1,800 for every point he scores in next Sunday's Belgian GP to the Los... The post Stroll's Belgian GP points to help wildfire relief efforts in California appeared first on F1i.com.

Stroll's Belgian GP points to help wildfire relief efforts in California

Lance Stroll will donate $1,800 for every point he scores in next Sunday's Belgian GP to the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation to help the latter's wildfire relief efforts in California.

More than 650 wildfires have burned more than 1 million acres since August 15 in northern California, destroying land, massive amounts of wildlife and over 1,400 buildings.

The fires, sparked in most cases by lightning, have left seven people dead and over one hundred thousand people forced to evacuate as the blazes engulfed the Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo counties of the Golden State.

Unfortunately, California is no stranger to wildfires, having suffered massive land and wildlife losses at the end of 2018 and the start of 2019.

"This past week has been a time of reflection for me," Stroll wrote on social media.

"It’s devastating to see what’s happening in California. Millions of animals are at risk and over a hundred thousand people have evacuated their homes.

"I will be raising money through the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation, to help now as the fires begin to worsen through the week and they will need our help now more than ever.

"I sincerely hope that we can all come together and contribute towards this cause, everything counts as we can make a difference. Please share this with your peers and others as this is a time to come together."

So far this season, Lance Stroll has 40 world championship points, achieving a top-ten finish in every race except for the opening round in Austria.

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