Tsunoda forced to start French GP from pit lane after changing parts overnight following Q1 shunt


Yuki Tsunoda will start today's French Grand Prix from the pit lane, after AlphaTauri were forced to change parts on his car following his hit with the barriers in qualifying.

The Japanese racer was on his first run in Q1 when he spun coming out of Turn 1, before sliding backwards into the barriers at the Circuit Paul Ricard.

READ MORE: Tsunoda explains what happened with early Q1 spin

And on Sunday morning the FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer revealed AlphaTauri had changed the floor on Tsunoda's AT02 car to one of a different specification to that he had used on Saturday, and had made changes to the suspension - which, according to parc ferme rules, means he must now start from the pit lane.

The team have also changed his gearbox, which would have incurred a five place grid drop as well, though that is rendered redundant by the pit lane start.

2021 French GP Qualifying: Schumacher crashes out but makes Q2

Having set no time in qualifying, Tsunoda would have been starting from the back of the grid anyway. After the session he explained what happened.

"I went to the inside of the yellow kerb too much in Turn 1... and when I applied the throttle I think the rear tyre was still on the yellow kerb and I spun out," he said. "I tried to brake as much as I could to avoid the barrier but it was like ice skating and I went backwards."

Meanwhile Mick Schumacher, who crashed more heavily in qualifying, appears to have escaped without having to replace the gearbox on his Haas.

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The German crashed at the end of Q1 at the exit of Turn 6, ending the session in the process, and sealing his own progression to Q2, having set the 14th quickest time.

It was the first time he had made the second part of qualifying but the damage to his car meant he was unable to take part. He too faced a five place grid penalty if his gearbox needed to be changed, but there has been no notice of a change from the FIA ahead of the race so it appears the team are confident it was undamaged in the shunt. He will start P15.



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