Esteban Ocon to start from pit lane in BOTH sprint and full Azerbaijan GP

Henry Valantine
Esteban Ocon speaking during a press conference. Bahrain, February 2023.

Esteban Ocon speaking during a press conference. Bahrain, February 2023.

Esteban Ocon will start Saturday’s sprint in Azerbaijan from the pit lane, Alpine have confirmed, after breaking parc ferme conditions on his A523 after the sprint shootout.

With qualifying on Friday evening, the cars went into parc ferme after the only free practice session in Azerbaijan, but after Ocon admitted the team took the incorrect set-up direction with the car, Alpine confirmed they broke parc ferme after Saturday’s sprint shootout to change his set-up.

As they have breached this rule, this not only means Ocon will have to start Saturday’s sprint from the pit lane, he will also have to start the full race from the pit lane as well, given the set-up changes Alpine will now be making to his car.

Ocon qualified 12th for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Friday, and went 13th fastest in the sprint shootout on Saturday, but had held higher hopes for his weekend – admitting “mistakes” had been made in car set-up during free practice.

“Not a good weekend so far,” Ocon admitted after the sprint shootout to F1 TV.

“I think we didn’t get the luck on our side, on top of not having the best speed.

“I think unfortunately the choices that we did after P1 for qualifying, we got stuck with the car we have, and they were definitely not the right choices. recommends

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“We made mistakes in that regard, and so we don’t have an optimised car unfortunately, going into qualy and the rest of the weekend so far.

“So it is tricky, and it’s challenging for both of us at the moment. So yeah, we’ll try and make some good racecraft and hopefully get in the points in both races it’s still not over, it’s still a long weekend.”

Alpine brought several updates with them to Azerbaijan this weekend, including a new floor, but Ocon’s team-mate Pierre Gasly has also suffered issues with his car.

A hydraulic issue in practice prompted a fire in his car, before he crashed out of qualifying and a leak in his exhaust system ended his sprint shootout early, meaning he will line up P19  on both Saturday and Sunday.