Albon disqualified from Australian GP qualifying

Alexander Albon

Williams’ Alexander Albon has been disqualified from qualifying for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix due to an insufficient fuel sample.

Car #23 is set to start Sunday’s race from the back of the 20-car field after officials could not extract the requisite one litre of fuel after the session.

Albon had been 16th-fastest in Qualifying 1, albeit already with a three-position grid penalty arising from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix hanging over his head.

While not progressing to the second stanza, he still caused a delay by stopping on the side of the track on his in-lap in Q1, with his Williams ultimately pushed back to the paddock.

“After Qualifying Car 23 had insufficient fuel to yield the required 1.0 litre sample,” read the stewards report, in part.

“Given this situation, Car 23 is not in compliance with the requirements of Article 6.5 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations.

“According to Art. 6.5.2 competitors must ensure that a 1.0 litre sample of fuel may be taken from the car at any time.

“The procedure was followed however the 1.0 litre sample of fuel was unable to be taken.”

The Thai driver is set to share the back row with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, who was penalised for a run-in with the other Williams of Nicholas Latifi in the final minutes of Q1.

Stroll was not classified in qualifying having failed to set a lap time, although both he and Albon were given permission to start, as is customary.

Pole-sitter Charles Leclerc was cleared of wrongdoing after allegedly driving unnecessarily slowly on an in lap, as was Red Bull’s Sergio Perez for allegedly failing to respect single yellow flags.

Stewards found that Leclerc was originally intending on a cool down lap before a change of plan from Ferrari, with the Monegasque lapping Albert Park even slower once he took action to ensure he did not impede other cars.

Perez’s data showed that he lifted 70 metres earlier, braked 50 metres earlier, and carried 14km/h less speed into the corner in question.

The Mexican, who qualified third, explained, “I was going into [Turn] 11 and I was told about the yellow flag, so I backed off.

“I think I lost about half second just from braking, and then there was a green panel afterwards and just completed the lap and lost half a second, six tenths about.

“So, yeah, no problem.”

Yuki Tsunoda was found guilty of an unnecessarily slow in lap, the AlphaTauri driver reprimanded for the third time this season but keeping 13th on the grid.

The Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix is set for a start on Sunday at 15:00 AEST.

Starting grid: Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix

Pos Num Driver Team
1 16 Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari
2 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing
3 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing
4 4 Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team
5 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG F1 Team
6 63 George Russell Mercedes-AMG F1 Team
7 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren F1 Team
8 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine F1 Team
9 55 Carlos Sainz Scuderia Ferrari
10 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine F1 Team
11 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia AlphaTauri
12 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo F1 Team
13 22 Yuki Tsunoda Scuderia AlphaTauri
14 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo F1 Team
15 47 Mick Schumacher Haas F1 Team
16 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team
17 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin F1 Team
18 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Racing
19 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin F1 Team
20 23 Alex Albon Williams Racing

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