Dejected Leclerc: I had no warning of ‘complete shutdown’
Charles Leclerc struggled to hide his disappointment at retiring from the first race of the 2023 Formula 1 season.
The Ferrari driver had been running in third place, but retired on lap 41 with an unidentified power unit issue.
When asked if he had any warning about the issue, Leclerc responded: “No, I didn’t. It just completely [shut down].”
“I cannot say that it feels good. Obviously, there was quite a lot of work done on that [over winter], but we need to keep working because first race and first reliability problems, so… not good.”
Ferrari had appeared unable to compete with Red Bull during the Sakhir race, with Leclerc unable to hold back Sergio Perez, whom he had passed at the start.
Leclerc commented that Ferrari had feared after testing that Red Bull had the quicker car.
“Unfortunately, after the the test, I think we were hoping that we were wrong in predicting things, but I think we were exactly right,” added Leclerc.
“We are very far from them in the race pace, and that was unfortunately expected.”