Canadian Grand Prix: A “weekend to forget” for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc

leclerc canadian grand prix

Just two weeks on from Scuderia Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc’s historic home win at the Monaco Grand Prix, the Principality’s brightest sports star has been brought back to Earth with a very disappointing bump.

Having failed to reach the third qualifying session, Monegasque Charles Leclerc was forced to start the race on the Gilles-Villeneuve Circuit on 9th June from P11, with his teammate, Carlos Sainz, just behind in 12th.  

26-year-old Leclerc advanced quickly to P9, but had fallen back again to his original position by Lap 2. By Lap 7, it was clear that something was wrong with his car, but the Monegasque persisted until Lap 29, when he returned to the pits to attempt a reset and revive his chances in the race. 

It wasn’t to be, however. He was back in the pits by Lap 31, where he made a switch to Intermediates, but he was at the very back of the grid and was lapped.  

A decision around Lap 40 saw Leclerc retired from the race, with team ruling, ” There was no point in adding kilometres on the car with no chance of scoring points.” 

See more: Charles Leclerc documents “dream” Monaco GP win in new vlog

“The bottom line is that the engine issue is what compromised our race,” said a frustrated Leclerc post-race. “We were losing substantial lap time compared to the other cars, so we tried to go on slicks, knowing that it was our only chance to try to finish in the points. There was nothing to lose and I’ve got no regrets on that.” 

The DNF result is a far cry from Leclerc’s win in Monaco just two weeks ago, and marks the first time in the 2024 season that he has finished outside of the Top 4. Sainz also recorded a DNF after spinning out on Lap 53. 

“This one hurts and it’s a big loss of points for the team with both of us unable to finish,” Leclerc added. “We will look into the issue we had to make sure it doesn’t happen again.” 

Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur admitted, “We were lacking something a little bit everywhere. This has been a very tough weekend for us. On one side of the garage with Charles we had an issue [with] the engine, which meant we lost around 80 horsepower for about 15 laps… For sure, it’s not been a good weekend right from the very beginning. I hope it means we have had all our troubles in the one Grand Prix and that we will be back in Spain in much better shape… It’s a long season, so we will have ups and downs, but I hope we don’t have too many ‘downs’ like this.” 

Despite failing to achieve any points in Montréal, Leclerc and Ferrari retain their positions in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Standings. 

The next race of the season will be on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the Spanish Grand Prix on 23rd June.  

Read related:

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Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari Media Centre