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Leclerc cools Ferrari Saudi Arabian GP engine concerns

Leclerc cools Ferrari Saudi Arabian GP engine concerns

Leclerc cools Ferrari Saudi Arabian GP engine concerns

Leclerc cools Ferrari Saudi Arabian GP engine concerns

Charles Leclerc has moved to quash fears that he could be set for another weekend of pain after reporting apparent engine problems during Friday practice in Saudi Arabia.

The Monegasque driver was a late-race retirement at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix as his Ferrari engine expired, leaving him to crawl to a halt at the side of the track.

Ahead of that race, Ferrari had already fitted a new energy store and a second control electronics unit - the latter change hitting the prescribed ceiling for the year.

During FP1 in Saudi Arabia, it was confirmed that Ferrari had made another change to the control electronics unit of Leclerc's car, with a 10-place grid penalty applied as a result.

But things appeared to get worse during FP2, as the driver again reported a number of issues with his power unit.

Addressing these apparent issues, Leclerc said: “There was nothing wrong (with the engine or energy deployment).

"There were a few events where I upshifted on kerbs or things like this which doesn’t put the engine in the best situation, so I complained to make sure everything was fine and everything is fine.”

READ MORE: Sainz 'surprised' at Italian media's attempt to 'destabilise' Ferrari

Ferrari has 'more in the locker'

Max Verstappen set the benchmark time on Friday, with team-mate Sergio Perez and the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso also impressing in both free practice sessions.

Ferrari, meanwhile, joined Mercedes in the lower reaches of the top 10, but Leclerc was in a surprisingly confident mood after being seven-tenths behind the Red Bulls in FP2.

“We have quite a bit in the locker," he added.

"How much? Let’s see. I’m sure Red Bull also has something hidden, so we will see tomorrow, but I think it will be closer than what we see now.

“I don’t think we are that bad. Honestly, the feeling is pretty good but it’s very difficult to read into the performance because everyone is doing very different things with power, weight etc.”

READ MORE: Ferrari on back foot but Leclerc says they CAN close the gap

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