Ferrari has refuted suggestions Charles Leclerc’s driveshaft wouldn’t have failed had it replaced his gearbox after his Q3 crash, leaving it searching for answers as to why the issue occurred.
Leclerc qualified on pole for Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix, but a crash at the end of qualifying left him waiting anxiously to see if the damage would result in the team needing to replace his gearbox.
A final inspection on Sunday morning gave his gearbox the all-clear, but on the lap to the grid Leclerc suffered a failure of the left rear driveshaft.
As Ferrari had not enough time to replace the part, Leclerc wasn’t able to take part in his home event.
The Italian outfit is yet to get to the bottom of why it failed to spot the issue sooner, with Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto expecting an analysis of the cars data and parts to provide answers.
“On our side we need to understand what happened really, and why it happened,” said Binotto, as quoted by Motorsport.com. “And more than that, if we could have detected it in parc ferme from Saturday afternoon and race morning.
“It’s more important really to understand why we didn’t detect a problem on the car. The problem was not there when he left the garage, so the problem started to appear in turn six.
“The parts that went on the car were not showing any problem. So we will be looking at the parts in the next days, and looking at the data.”
Binotto revealed Ferrari hadn’t repaired the driveshaft as it wasn’t damaged from Leclerc’s accident, but suspects it would have failed regardless of if they had replaced the gearbox.
“It’s not gearbox related,” Binotto said. “If we would have changed the gearbox, still those parts would still have been on the car because they were not damaged from the accident.
“The failure would still have happened, so it’s not a matter of gambling with the gearbox at all.”
He added: “There is a clear regulation saying you can only change parts which were damaged.
“So the parts we changed were really the ones damaged: the front wing, the front right suspension, and the rear right corner. They were clearly damaged, and we got permission to do it, so that’s it.”
Although Binotto insists the broken driveshaft isn’t related to the gearbox, he refused to rule out Leclerc’s crash as the reason for the failure.
“Eventually it could be related to the accident,” he said. “It’s something which we need to analyse and eventually find the final answer. But it was on completely the opposite side, the other corner. But again, maybe not related or maybe yes.”