Carlos Sainz may lose 10 grid positions for the French Grand Prix due to excessive component usage following his spectacular retirement last time out in Austria.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz could lose ten places on the starting grid for this weekend’s French Grand Prix for using too many engine components.

With only two engine changes allowed for the season, the Spaniard is attempting his third control electronics of 2022, which results in an automatic ten-place grid drop. He now has the maximum amount of Internal Combustion Engines, turbochargers, and MGU-Hs allowed in the pool, which puts him in danger of receiving a penalty.

Sainz’s Ferrari was on fire when he retired from the Austrian Grand Prix two weeks ago, and it is still unclear whether the damage will necessitate more replacement engine parts which will lead to penalties throughout the weekend.

When a driver exceeds the permitted amount of a component for the first time, they lose ten grid positions, and Sainz believes Ferrari might do the same at Paul Ricard.

“It’s still under evaluation, we are still looking at all the available options,” Sainz said. “We also need to see a bit how the overtaking is here, how everything comes into play you know with the heat, the tyres and we will take a decision but obviously there is a chance it will happen.”

Charles Leclerc, who is Carlos Sainz’s teammate at Ferrari, has checked the box for an engine penalty back at the Canadian Grand Prix, so Sainz would not be the first Ferrari driver this season to receive one.

Leclerc’s previous race in Austria saw him contend with a throttle issue rather than an engine problem, but he was still able to nurse his F1-75 over the finish line and resume his winning form.

Leclerc’s triumph sliced Verstappen’s lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 38 points, marking his first win since Melbourne in April.

Leclerc is optimistic that Ferrari can be competitive once more at Paul Ricard, but exploiting their pace, dependability, and occasionally strategy issues which have been a weakness so far in 2022, again will be crucial.

“I’ve got a much better feeling than the one I had coming into Austria,” said Leclerc.

“We’ve had a very positive weekend there and we just need to keep the focus, that level of performance.”

“We’ve been very strong in Austria, we’ve been very strong for very long now but unfortunately we had quite a bit of problems. But looking ahead I’m confident we can be quick this weekend, it’s just about putting everything together with no mistakes.”

Tyre management will probably play a big part in the race on Sunday due to the sheer high temperatures that will welcome the racers in France.

Leclerc was already paying particular attention to this element, noting that it had been a weakness for Ferrari during their last two trips to Paul Ricard. The Free Practice will be used to figure out how to prevent a recurrence of these difficulties.

“We struggled quite a bit last year and the year before too, but yes, this year, different cars, different conditions,” said Leclerc. “We’ll take particular care of the tyres, we’ll use these free practices to make sure we don’t have the same issue as the last two years, but I’m sure that we will be competitive.”

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