Tsunoda to race with new gearbox, exhaust and power unit elements after qualifying shunt
Yuki Tsunoda was already set to start the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix from the back for the grid after shunting his AlphaTauri AT02 at the start of qualifying. But the Japanese driver has also been hit with a grid penalty for taking on a new gearbox and power unit elements as a result of the crash.
An ambitious line through the notoriously tricky Variante Alta chicane saw Tsunoda get caught out in Q1 as Saturday’s qualifying got under way, with Tsunoda’s car rotating into the wall, bringing out a red flag and ending his chances of making his first Q3 appearance in F1.
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But once his AlphaTauri team had checked over the car, the decision was made to take on a complete new Honda power unit – namely internal combustion engine, MGU-K and MGU-H, turbocharger, energy store and control electronics – as well as a new exhaust system and gearbox.
Those changes to the energy store and control electronics come with a back-of-the-grid start penalty for Tsunoda, while the gearbox change gave Tsunoda a five-place drop – all of which was academic, given Tsunoda was set to start P20 anyway.
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Tsunoda will at least be encouraged for the race by the pace of his team mate Pierre Gasly, who will start from fifth place on the grid.