Charles Leclerc revealed that a hydraulic failure caused his retirement from the 2023 Brazilian GP before the race had even started as he crashed on the formation lap.
As he approached the fast left-hander Ferradura (Turn 6), his car didn’t respond and he shot towards the barriers.
Despite being able to continue, he came into the pits and duly retired from the race after bemoaning his own luck on the radio. It was the same scene of his accident with Lando Norris one year earlier in 2022.
“When I lost steering wheel and I went straight basically because I had no hydraulic anymore,” Leclerc said to media. “I don’t think it’s a hydraulic problem.
“I know what it is but I can’t go into detail. Then there was an engine thing that made me lock the rear wheels.”
Ferrari also appeared to have a similar issue a week earlier at the Mexico City GP, although it was less dramatic as Carlos Sainz slowly crawled to the pits in Free Practice 1 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, although the Monegasque denied it was the same problem.
“I haven’t gone into details with the guys,” Leclerc added. “But what they’ve seen is completely different it’s not what happened to Carlos.”
Leclerc depressed with Ferrari fortune
Following the failure ahead of the race, where he would have started from second, the 26-year-old was audibly disheartened by what happened to his SF-23 as more Formula 1 points slipped out of his grasp.
“No! I lost the hydraulics! Why the f*** am I so unlucky?,” Leclerc complained. “Why the f*** am I so unlucky?”
Despite the set-back, he hadn’t been at odds with his Ferrari throughout the weekend and had even produced a trademark qualifying performance as he was second, almost three tenths ahead of Lando Stroll behind him.
“I was happy with my car,” Leclerc concluded. “We are changing settings from weekend to weekend.
“He wasn’t happy with what they’d done on their side of the garage, but on my side it was all good.”