Ferrari have released a statement explaining that Charles Leclerc’s formation lap incident was caused by a “loss of hydraulics supply”, meaning he could do nothing to avoid hitting the barriers.
The Monegasque driver was meant to start the race from the front row alongside pole-sitter and eventual race winner Max Verstappen, but he never got the opportunity to see the green lights come on.
Leclerc was making his way around the Ferradura corner on the formation lap when he lost control of his SF-23, spinning into the barriers and out of the race in a shocking turn of events.
Ferrari have since explained the cause of the incident, taking to the X social media platform to explain: “During the formation lap, Charles experienced an issue with one of our car systems which led to a loss of hydraulics supply, meaning he had no power steering and no gearbox command.
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“Unfortunately, this meant there wasn’t anything he could have done to control the car and avoid spinning into the wall. After a long three weeks, we’ll recharge and set our sights on a strong finish to the 2023 season.”
There was little to celebrate on the other side of the Ferrari garage either. Carlos Sainz could only manage a P6 finish, finishing ten seconds back from fifth-placed Lance Stroll and a worrying 50 seconds back from race-winner Verstappen.
This was a major missed opportunity for the Scuderia on a weekend that offered an excellent chance to close the gap to Mercedes. The Silver Arrows scored just four points on Sunday but remain 20 clear in the Constructor Championship standings.
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Leclerc went into some detail about his view of the race-ending incident with Sky Sports F1, explaining: “When I lost the steering wheel, I went straight basically because I had no hydraulics anymore.
“I don’t think it’s a hydraulic problem. I mean, I know what it is. I cannot go too much into detail. Then there was an engine thing that made me lock the rear wheels and then obviously I spun and hit the wall. I couldn’t do anything.”
Sainz was also frustrated with the technical elements of his Ferrari. He went onto the team radio during the race to state: “I just hope we bin this clutch as soon as we’re back in Maranello.”
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