Explained: Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari problem that ruined 2024 Austrian GP Sprint Qualifyi

Leclerc will start the 2024 Austrian GP Sprint race from 10th, behind two Alpines

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Charles Leclerc revealed an anti-stall issue left his Ferrari car unable to get to the line in time to deliver a challenge to Max Verstappen’s Sprint Qualifying pole time after he was sat in the pits for an agonizing amount of time at the Red Bull Ring.

With one lap to do it and pole position on the line, a betting man might back the Monegasque to deliver when it counts to take pole but tragedy struck as he came out of his garage when his car suddenly engaged anti-stall and froze before getting to the fast lane.

As the 26-year-old sat and waited to get some life back into his stricken Ferrari, the seconds continued to tick away in excruciating fashion and when he got going again, he missed out at the line by just that – seconds.

“I don’t know what happened. I was in the pit lane and I got the anti-still then everything switched off,” Leclerc said to F1 TV after the session. “The team told me we will speak later, so I don’t know.

“We were not super strong but we would have been better than P10. A bit disappointing but we will try to have a good Sprint to come back.”

Charles Leclerc during practice for the 2024 Spanish GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office
Charles Leclerc during practice for the 2024 Spanish GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Impact of Leclerc and Ferrari’s anti-stall issue

It means that the man with 24 poles, including at the 2024 Monaco GP, will start Saturday’s F1 Sprint Race from a lowly 10th on the grid behind his championship rivals, Verstappen, Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez with vital points on the line.

As if it wasn’t bad enough either as Charles Leclerc‘s Ferrari was in anti-stall, both Alpine cars of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly got their laps on the board despite being 1.5 seconds off the pace, so they will start ahead too, meaning a key part of his race will be dispatching of the out-of-position pair.

Fortunately for Leclerc, the saving grace is that Sprint Races do not offer the same amount of points as a regular Grand Prix. Even if he collects zero points by finishing 10th, he would only lose eight to whoever goes on to win the Sprint so it’s not entirely devastating.

Sprint Race points awarded as eight for the winner and then reduces by one point per place, so eighth will only collect a solitary addition to their tally for the 2024 Formula 1 World Championship.

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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