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Sainz ruled out of Qatar Grand Prix due to pre-race technical issue

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Carlos Sainz will not take part in the Qatar Grand Prix after Ferrari encountered a technical issue on his car during the build-up to the race that proved too significant to fix in time.

Sainz was due to start the 57-lap encounter from 12th on the grid but has been ruled out of action on Sunday evening due to a fuel-related problem developing aboard the Spaniard’s SF-23.

OFFICIAL GRID: Verstappen on pole, Perez takes pit-lane start after power unit change

Confirming the issue just under an hour before lights out, a Ferrari spokesperson said: “Due to a fuel system issue on his car, Carlos will not take part in the Qatar GP.

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Sainz’s car will not be seen during Sunday’s race at the Lusail International Circuit

It means Ferrari will contest the race with only one car, as Charles Leclerc gets set to line up fifth, behind Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, the two Mercedes drivers and pole-sitting Red Bull man Max Verstappen.

Another change to the grid in Qatar sees Sergio Perez moved from 13th to the pit lane, with Red Bull changing a host of power unit components and making several car changes – including a new chassis – after his crash in the Sprint.

LIVE COVERAGE: Follow all the action from the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix

The trouble for Sainz and Perez will see several drivers gain positions when the race gets under way, with Alex Albon, Nico Hulkenberg, Logan Sargeant, Lance Stroll, Liam Lawson, Kevin Magnussen and Zhou Guanyu all benefitting.

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