Pit lane start for Zhou after Sprint Qualifying crash

Zhou Guanyu

Zhou Guanyu will start the Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix from the pit lane after crashing out of Saturday’s Sprint Qualifying on the opening lap.

The Chinese racer made contact with Pierre Gasly as they navigated Piratella for the first time, firing the Alfa Romeo Sauber into the inside wall.

It triggered an early Safety Car and prompted lengthy repairs from the team.

Those were not completed by the time the Saturday night curfew come into force, the team breaching Article 40.6 and 40.9 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations.

“Car 24 was involved in a collision and suffered significant damage during the Sprint session,” the stewards noted.

“In repairing Car 24 subsequent to the Sprint session, Car 24 was found to have breached Article 40.6 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations as the car used during the Sprint session was not covered and ready for FIA seals within 2 hours of the Sprint session.

“Furthermore, in breach of Article 40.9, the Competitor was found to have continued to work on the car unsupervised while under parc ferme conditions.

“The Competitor admitted that modifications were made to the car.

“In any event, given the lack of supervision the Stewards would have been entitled to draw an inference that modifications were made to the car and/or changes were made to the set-up of the suspension while the car was to have been held under parc ferme conditions.

“The penalty for breach of the parc ferme conditions is specified in Article 40.9 b), which is for the driver to start from the pit lane. We accordingly imposed the penalty stipulated in Article 40.9 b).”

Zhou is the only driver set to take a penalty into the race, which will see Max Verstappen on pole ahead of Charles Leclerc.

The 63 lap Emilia Romagna Grand Prix gets under way at 23:00 AEST this evening.

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