Ocon to start Azerbaijan Sprint and Grand Prix from pit lane after Alpine make parc ferme changes
Alpine's Esteban Ocon will start Saturday evening's Sprint and Sunday afternoon's Azerbaijan Grand Prix from the pit lane after the team made changes to his car with parc ferme conditions active.
The team encountered reliability issues on Friday as Pierre Gasly's car went up in smoke during FP1 – the sole practice session for the weekend – and then he crashed out of qualifying.
Gasly had a new power unit fitted to his car on Friday and the team took a new gearbox on Saturday – with no resulting penalties.
For his team mate Ocon, however, there will be a penalty as the squad have made changes to his car's suspension set-up with the field in parc ferme – meaning that any changes to set-up or parts are penalised.
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Ocon qualified 13th for the Sprint but will now start from the pit lane.
"The team has taken Car #31 out of parc ferme conditions, meaning Esteban will start today’s Sprint Race and tomorrow's Azerbaijan GP from the Pit Lane," said the team.
As for Gasly, he qualified 19th on Friday after crashing in Q1 and was also eliminated in SQ1 during Saturday's Sprint Shootout qualifying.
Alpine sit eighth in the standings ahead of the Azerbaijan Sprint and Grand Prix but there are points up for grabs on both Saturday and Sunday in Baku.