Oct.20 (GMM) Charles Leclerc will start Sunday’s US GP five places lower than he qualifies, as new double world champion Max Verstappen stands on the cusp of an all-time F1 record.
La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that with the world championships now lost, it is “time for experimentation” for Ferrari in the final races of 2022.
Correspondent Paolo Filisetti reports that Leclerc will have a fresh internal combustion engine fitted to his car in Austin, resulting in a five-spot grid penalty.
“Ferrari’s move is not dictated by reliability problems, but by the desire to experiment for next season,” he wrote in the Italian sports newspaper.
Filisetti insists that because the 2022 power units are ‘frozen’ by regulation, modifications are only actually possible if justified by reliability.
However, Ferrari is “understandably looking for improvements to exploit for 2023”.
As for Red Bull’s 2021 and 2022 drivers’ champion Verstappen, victory in Austin would equal Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel’s joint all-time record for the number of wins in a season – 13.
Dr Helmut Marko insists that the Dutch driver is not motivated by records, declaring last week: “He’s not the type to go for records.
“I think one day he will say ‘fine’ and walk away.”
According to Dutch GP boss Jan Lammers, however, “Max will want to win the last four races” of his dominant 2022 season.
Fellow former Dutch F1 driver Christijan Albers agrees, telling De Telegraaf: “Max can break many records, like the most wins in one season.
“If there’s a year in which he can do that, it’s now.”