Ferrari says 'no serious damage' to Leclerc's gearbox

Ferrari says a post-qualifying inspection of poleman Charles Leclerc’s gearbox has not revealed “any serious damage”, but the team will make a final call on the component’s potential replacement on Sunday morning.

Leclerc had topped the time sheet on his first run in Saturday’s Q3, but the Monegasque crashed into the barrier at the Swimming Pool on his final qualifying run.

With under a minute to spare in the session, the incident brought out the red flag and triggered the end of the proceedings, much to the disappointment of Leclerc’s teammate Carlos, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who all claimed that pole was within their grasp.

Leclerc’s Ferrari was hauled back to the team’s garage where a damage assessment was undertaken.

“An initial inspection of the gearbox in Charles Leclerc’s car has not revealed any serious damage,” the Scuderia said in a statement released on Saturday evening.

“Further checks will be carried out tomorrow, to decide if the same gearbox can be used in the race.”

Before Ferrari had concluded its inspection, team boss Mattia Binotto said the Scuderia would not take any chances with the component and risk its reliability in Sunday’s race.

“No, we will not gamble,” Binotto said. “I think for us what’s important after such a qualy is to try to maximise the number of points for the championship, and obviously to maximise we need to finish the race.

“So reliability is key, reliability remains the priority. If we have any doubts, we will certainly change and fix it.”

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