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‘This one hurts’ – Leclerc pinpoints issue for Ferrari to look into after disastrous double DNF in Canada

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MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 09: Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari looks on, on the grid prior to

It was a disastrous day for Ferrari at the Canadian Grand Prix, with both cars retiring from the running just two weeks after scoring a victory and double podium in Monaco.

After lining up in P11 and P12 respectively following a difficult qualifying on Saturday, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz both struggled to make ground from the midfield as the race progressed.

READ MORE: Verstappen beats Norris to victory in thrilling wet/dry Canadian GP

Things then went from bad to worse for Leclerc when his SF-24 began to struggle with an engine issue. As such, the team opted to gamble on a switch to slick tyres on Lap 29, despite the rest of the field remaining on the intermediate compound amid changing conditions.

The move failed to pay off and the Monegasque returned to the pits to retire the car on Lap 43 of 70. Asked to sum up his emotions after the race, Leclerc answered: “Honestly there is not much more to say apart from the engine issue cost us everything.

“Then at one point we tried to go on the slicks when we knew it was going to be… more chances that it wouldn’t work, but we had to test something because, with the engine issues we had, we would have been out the points anyway, and that was it really.

Downbeat Leclerc after DNF: ‘The engine issue cost us everything’

“After that it was just extremely tricky to do all the engine changes that the team was asking me, at the same time I was still losing a second and a half per straight. We’ve got to look into the engine issue, because that’s going to be tricky for the rest of the season.”

While Leclerc pinpointed the engine complaint as an area for investigation, he also warned of not getting too affected by one difficult weekend.

HIGHLIGHTS: Relive the action from a dramatic Canadian Grand Prix as Verstappen takes victory ahead of Norris

“I think we shouldn’t overreact with the pace of the car,” the six-time race winner said. “I mean, you’ve got good weekends, you’ve got bad weekends. Yesterday we missed Q3 by three hundredths, we were definitely not feeling good with the car and we’ve got to work on that and try to understand what went wrong.

“Today I wouldn’t say the pace was bad – if you look at the first stint with a second-and-a-half slower engine, I think we weren’t that bad in corners and we were strong, just the engine was so big [of an] issue that we couldn’t do anything.

“So as much as we didn’t overreact after Monaco, we shouldn’t overreact after this one. But this one hurts. It’s big points for the team, with the two cars DNF’d, that we are going to lose against our competitors, and engine-wise it’s something that we need to look at.”

Sainz admits to ‘driver mistake’ after spin put him out of the race – and took Albon out too

It was an equally tough day for Sainz, who found himself out of the running in the latter stages of the race after spinning at the exit of Turn 7, subsequently collecting the Williams of Alex Albon in the process.

“Not a lot of pace this weekend, not even [on] the inter tyre – we expected maybe to be a bit stronger there,” the Spaniard reflected later on. “But, yeah, a lot of sliding around and no feeling with the car.

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“Once it dried out we were starting to make some kind of progress. I was also aiming to take quite a bit of risk to stay in the DRS train and overtake, and I did a driver mistake. Not ideal, not our weekend for anyone in the team, and we’ll try and reset and go again.”

Like Leclerc, Sainz is not reading too much into Ferrari’s troubles in Montreal and has voiced his confidence that the squad will bounce back next time out at the Spanish Grand Prix.

“I think it’s clear that this weekend we were not on the right end of the pace and we were struggling as a team,” the 29-year-old added. “In any condition really we seemed to be [struggling] with the balance and the pace. I think it’s going to be a one-off, and in Barcelona we should be back where we are normally.”

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