Charles Leclerc facing grid penalty at Brazilian Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc of Ferrari
Charles Leclerc of Ferrari

Charles Leclerc will start this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix with a grid penalty after Ferrari confirmed he would take a fresh power unit.

The 22-year-old Monegasque will drop at least five grid places for the penultimate race of this year's calendar after suffering problems in the last race in Austin in which he finished fourth.

The news comes as a blow to Leclerc, who currently sits third in the drivers' standings, 14 points ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen and a further five in front of Scuderia team-mate Sebastian Vettel with two rounds to go.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said: "On Sunday, Charles' pace in the first stint was poor, although his car performance level was back to normal after the first pit stop.

"So we will put all this behind us now and look ahead to Brazil and a fresh start.

"Charles will get a new power unit there, as his was damaged on Saturday in Austin, which meant he had to use a previously used and less powerful version for the rest of the weekend.

"Fitting a new PU means taking a grid penalty in Sao Paulo, but we should be back to our normal performance level and show some fighting spirit to finish the season on a high note."

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