Ferrari is anticipating a grid penalty for Charles Leclerc later in the 2021 Formula 1 season after it found his engine was “damaged beyond repair” in the opening lap crash at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Leclerc was hit by Lance Stroll after the Aston Martin driver failed to slow sufficiently for Turn 1 in wet conditions, forcing both drivers to retire from the race.
Leclerc is set to take on a third power unit at the Belgian Grand Prix later this month, putting him on the limit of a grid drop.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Ferrari said: “The accident in which Charles Leclerc was an innocent victim shortly after the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix came at the cost of robbing him of the chance of a great result at the Hungaroring.
“However, examination of the No.16 SF21 carried out yesterday in Maranello, revealed that on top of this, the engine was irreparably damaged and cannot be used again, following the impact from Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin.
“This is a further blow for Scuderia Ferrari and the Monegasque driver. This damage has a financial impact and also racing ramifications.
“Given that over the remaining 12 race weekends this season, it is highly likely the team could be obliged to fit a fourth ICE to Charles’ SF21, thus incurring grid penalties.”
Leclerc’s team-mate Carlos Sainz was able to avoid the incidents at Turn 1 to finish fourth on the road but was later promoted to third following a disqualification for Sebastian Vettel.