Charles Leclerc to start Canadian Grand Prix from back of the grid after new power unit

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Charles Leclerc to start Canadian Grand Prix from back of the grid after new power unit
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Charles Leclerc will start Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix from the back of the grid after taking a new power unit.

The Ferrari driver had previously been hit with a 10-place grid penalty for taking a new control electronics element to his F1-75.

But on Saturday the team confirmed, as expected, that he had taken an entire new power unit - ICE, turbo, MGU-H and MGU-K. Having exceeded his allowance for the season, he will start from the back of the grid immaterial of where he qualifies later on Saturday.

Leclerc had already been off the pace of title rival Max Verstappen during the opening two practice sessions on Friday and has his work cut out in Sunday’s race to limit the damage in the drivers’ standings.

After starting the 2022 campaign with two wins in the opening three races to take an early lead over last season’s winner Verstappen in the world championship race, his title bid has been plagued by issues of late despite his impressive exploits in qualifying.

More engine trouble meant the 24-year-old - along with team-mate Carlos Sainz - was forced to retire from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku last weekend, while he dropped from pole position to fourth at his home race in Monaco a fortnight earlier after a confused race strategy implemented by the Scuderia.

A failure of his turbo and MGU-H led to another race retirement in Spain, while he was also bested by the quicker Verstappen at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix and fell to sixth place in Imola after a costly late spin.

Leclerc has only finished on the podium once since claiming the second of his 2022 race wins in Australia in April, resulting in him being overtaken by both Red Bull drivers in the championship standings.

He currently sits third on 116 points, 34 behind leader Verstappen and 13 adrift of Sergio Perez. Ferrari, meanwhile, now trail Red Bull in the constructors’ title race by 80 points.

Verstappen led a Red Bull double in practice in Canada on Friday, with Leclerc second fastest in FP2 having gone fifth quickest behind Verstappen, Sainz, Fernando Alonso and Perez in the opening session.

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