AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly set for pitlane start at Japanese Grand Prix

Thomas Maher
Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, in the pit lane. Suzuka, October 2022.

AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly in the pit lane at the Japanese Grand Prix. Suzuka, October 2022.

Pierre Gasly will start Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, after a late breach of parc ferme rules to change his rear wing specification.

The French driver is set to start the Japanese GP at Suzuka from the pitlane after AlphaTauri made the call to change his rear wing ahead of the race.

After being knocked out in Q1 and being set to line up for a 17th-place grid slot, word came through from the FIA an hour before the race that AlphaTauri had opted to make a late change – Gasly being fitted with a different specification rear wing to the one he used in qualifying.

Due to this breach of parc ferme regulations, Gasly will start the race from the pits. Separately from the rear wing change, his team also changed his front brake materials and some of the associated parameters – these changes didn’t trigger any sort of penalty, due to them being within parc ferme regulations.

“The changed rear wing assembly is of a different specification from the one used during Qualification,” said the stewards of AlphaTauri’s decision.

“The part was replaced with the approval of the FIA Technical Delegate as per article 40.3.

“As the rear wing assembly is a different specification and was changed whilst the car was in parc ferme and the suspension setup has also changed, the competitor is required to start the race from the pit lane per article 40.9 b) of the FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations.”

Pierre Gasly left frustrated after qualifying

With Gasly encountering brake issues on his car during the qualifying session on Saturday, the French driver made his annoyance clear over team radio as he was knocked out in Q1.

The Japanese GP looks set to take place in wet conditions, conditions that Gasly explained he was hoping for given his lowly starting position.

“Tomorrow [Sunday] will not be easy from where we start, but it might be raining,” he said on Saturday evening.

“I hope it will be, because it would bring more excitement and more opportunities to make our way forward. Our car works well in the wet, so I think that these conditions would be best for us.”

Read More: F1 live timing and commentary from the Japanese GP