Due to fines for excessive engine consumption, Carlos Sainz of Ferrari will start the French Grand Prix at the rear of the grid.
When Ferrari formally accepted the Spaniard’s fourth new engine of the season—one more than permitted—on Saturday, the demotion was officially announced.
This increased the 10-place penalty for the new electronic control unit that was taken on Friday.
Sainz finished second in the final practice, behind Max Verstappen of Red Bull.
The world champion set a lap that was 0.354 seconds faster than Sainz, displaying the outstanding form.
While Sainz improved his time on a second lap on the “soft” tyre, Leclerc stated his were “dead” when he tried. This was another indication that Leclerc was still having trouble with significant tyre degradation.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was fourth fastest, although he was 0.9 seconds slower than the leaders on a circuit where the team had hoped to move up to the front.
Sergio Perez’s second Red Bull was fifth fastest, a second slower than teammate Max Verstappen’s, and George Russell’s second Mercedes was sixth, ahead of Fernando Alonso’s Alpine, Alex Albon’s Williams, and Lando Norris’ McLaren.
Charles Leclerc, Verstappen’s title contender who won the most recent race in Austria, was third fastest and lagged his Ferrari teammate by almost 0.3 seconds.
Kevin Magnussen of Haas, who also changed a number of power unit components, will join Sainz towards the rear of the grid.