Binotto insists Ferrari didn’t gamble on Leclerc gearbox, saying DNS possibly unrelated to qualifying crash
No sooner had Charles Leclerc reported problems on the way to the grid than fans began to question whether Ferrari had made a bad gamble with not changing his gearbox following his qualifying crash. But according to team boss Mattia Binotto, Leclerc’s shock ‘Did not start’ from pole position was unrelated to the gearbox – and may not even have been a result of the crash that had helped the Monegasque seal P1 on the grid on Saturday.
"We need to fully understand what happened," Binotto said, having seen his driver pull in after a single reconnaissance lap. "The failure is on the driveshaft into the hub on the left-hand side. So it's not a gearbox problem we had. The gearbox had been inspected yesterday evening, it has been reviewed, and I think the gearbox was OK for the race.
"What happened is on the opposite side compared to the accident. So it may be completely unrelated to the accident.”
READ MORE: ‘It's a difficult one to take’ – Leclerc ‘hurting’ after technical issue prevents him taking Monaco start
Speaking specifically about the part in question that caused the DNS, Binotto confirmed that it hadn't been investigated following the crash: "It was an area that was not checked, because it was not damaged," he said, before adding that Ferrari hadn't suffered similar issues previously.
"No,” he replied. “Let's wait and see. I think we can only analyse the pieces carefully on the data, try to have a clear explanation.
"There was no gamble on the gearbox. We are confident the gearbox would have been OK for the race.
"But again, what happened needs an explanation, that we do not have right now. As I said, we will need to analyse."
After the low of seeing Leclerc fail to take the start, Ferrari's day was improved as Carlos Sainz took P2 in their other car, giving the Italian team a first podium finish of the season.
READ MORE: Verstappen claims dominant Monaco victory over Sainz and Norris