Charles Leclerc suffers title blow in Max Verstappen fight as Ferrari ‘don’t have fix’

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Charles Leclerc’s title chances are likely to take a hit as Ferrari is warned they do not have a quick fix to their reliability concerns. Leclerc has already suffered two retirements this season due to mechanical issues, throwing away vital points in the title hunt with Max Verstappen.

His team-mate Carlos Sainz was the latest to suffer from failures with a major blowout last time out at Austria. The Spaniard’s Ferrari burst into flames during the closing stages in Spielberg with Mattia Binotto later admitting the issue was likely to be a similar one that afflicted Leclerc.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, former driver turned pundit Paul di Resta warned reliability issues were Ferrari’s “biggest concern”. He revealed it was likely Leclerc would be hit with grid penalties for new parts if pieces kept breaking.

He said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if they [Ferrari] just take the full package if I am being honest, as much as they can but that might not cover all the penalties that they need in one go.

“Ferrari, even if they do throw new bits into this I don’t think there’s a fix coming that quick to be honest in the reliability issues, and that’s the biggest concern you have got going forward in this championship battle. Charles is definitely going to take penalties this year again when you get these reliability issues brought, but there’s six-to-eight weeks normally especially if it’s internal big things.

“Can they run the mileage they want on the engine, as hard as they want?” Verstappen suffered two retirements from the first three races but Red Bull has since managed to solve their issues.

However, Ferrari seems unable to get a grip on their issues which Binotto admitted was “certainly a concern”.

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The team principal stressed the team were working hard to find a solution for the upcoming races. But he later added the issues may not be completely solved for the next couple of races in a major blow.

Binotto explained: “These are problems that worry us for the coming races, not in the long term. I am convinced that we can solve it as a team. For this kind of intervention you need time: you need to design, produce and homologate new components for reliability. A few weeks are not enough.

“In the short term, we will try to manage it in terms of kilometres.”

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