Leclerc “angry and very disappointed” after suffering failure on formation lap at F1 São Paulo GP

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Charles Leclerc’s race ended shockingly quickly as the Ferrari driver suffered what he initially identified as a hydraulics failure, which caused him to spin off into the barriers at Turn 6 on the formation lap, moments before the São Paulo Grand Prix was set to start.

Leclerc qualified very well on Friday and was due to line up second on the grid, alongside Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. This mechanical failure comes as a blow to both the driver and the team, as Ferrari hopes to stay in the fight for P2 in the Constructor’s standings in the remaining rounds.

Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari

“No, I lost the hydraulics! I lost the hydraulics. Why am I so unlucky?” Leclerc vented over team radio after the crash.

Leclerc’s SF-23 suffered front wing damage as a result of the impact, but that was the least of his worries. Although Leclerc managed to get going again, the relief didn’t last long.

“The engine switched off,” he confirmed moments later as he was forced to pull into an escape road and abandon his stricken car.

“I don’t even know. I lost the hydraulics on the steering wheel, so the rears locked up on their own because of the engine,” the Monégasque explained in the media pen afterwards.

“When I lost the steering wheel, I went straight basically because I had no hydraulics anymore.

He added that he couldn’t divulge the details just yet:“I don’t think it’s a hydraulic problem. I mean, I know what it is. I cannot go too much into detail.

“I couldn’t do anything. I am angry, and I am very disappointed. The whole weekend we were working to do well today and I don’t even get to race.”

“This year I’ve just been—I’ve been pretty unlucky, and I don’t know what to do about it. Maybe I could take a trip to Lourdes, but honestly, what can I do about it? Nothing.”

The race initially started with no delay, but was soon red-flagged due to a collision between Alex Albon and Kevin Magnussen that resulted in debris being strewn across the track. At one point, Leclerc was seen discussing something with the marshals that were clearing away his car.

Speaking to Canal+, he revealed that he was hoping the team could take advantage of the stoppage and repair his car so he could rejoin the race at the restart, only to be told that wouldn’t be possible.

“We also tried to go again, we could repair the car during the red flag. They said no.”The Monégasque later wrote on Instagram: “Disappointed to say the least. Lost the power steering and the engine power on the formation lap. It hurts because today was a great opportunity for us.”

Scuderia Ferrari posted on social media after the race what caused the DNS for Leclerc.

“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.”

”Unfortunately, this meant there wasn’t anything he could have done to control the car and avoid spinning into the wall.”