Zhou must start from pitlane

Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou will start today’s Grand Prix from the pitlane after his team was deemed to have carried out unsupervised work on his car under parc ferme conditions.

The Chinese driver clashed with Pierre Gasly at the start of the Sprint, necessitating the deployment of the safety car.

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

Furthermore, in breach of Article 40.9, Alfa Romeo was found to have continued to work on the car unsupervised while under parc ferme conditions. Indeed, the team 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, consequently, for breaching the parc ferme conditions Zhou is required to start from the pitlane.

“I was in a hard but fair fight with Pierre and Lewis throughout the whole of sector one and the beginning of sector two,” said Zhou, “I made a move on Pierre in Turn 9 and I was ahead going into the braking zone.

“I got a big hit on the exit, and that spun me into the wall: it was a big surprise but that was the end of it.

“It’s a shame as we had a good opportunity to gain some places, the car has quite a bit of damage and it’s going to be a lot of work for the mechanics.”

“Zhou didn’t give me much space,” said Gasly, “it’s not a great place to be side-by-side, and unfortunately there was contact, but that’s just the way it is sometimes.

“After that, the car suffered some damage and it wasn’t easy.”

Check out our Sprint gallery from Imola, here.

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