Fernando Alonso’s Imola start troubles go from bad to worse

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso adjusts his cap

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso adjusts his cap

Fernando Alonso will start Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix from the pit lane after Aston Martin made changes to his car overnight.

Alonso had a wretched time in Saturday’s qualifying at Imola, only Logan Sargeant’s deleted lap time keeping him from the very last spot on the grid.

Aston Martin: Upgrades not competitive enough

The Spaniard admitted at the time that Aston Martin could make changes to his car in the build-up to the Grand Prix, which would mandate a pit lane start.

“If we start from the pit, there are also some benefits as well,” Alonso said.

“We saw the crash in F2 at the start as well. We need to avoid those kinds of things for the quantity of parts that we have on Formula 1 teams. So yeah, it could be an option.”

The team made that call overnight, changing the Spaniard’s rear suspension and thus breaking parc ferme regulations.

“Aston Martin Aramco changed the setup of the suspension of Car 14 under Parc Ferme, this not being in accordance with Article 40.9 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations. Car 14 is therefore required to start the Race from Pit Lane,” read the stewards’ notes.

What have we learned from the Imola weekend so far?

👉 Max Verstappen to miss the win, Yuki Tsunoda ahead of Hamilton and more Imola predictions

👉 Emilia-Romagna GP: Data shows ‘tow buddy’ helped Max Verstappen on way to Imola pole

👉 F1 starting grid: What is the grid order for the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola?

👉 Winners and losers from the 2024 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix qualifying

Alonso’s qualifying woes came on a weekend in which the team introduced nine new parts of the AMR24.

Lance Stroll, who qualified P13, admits they fell short of the mark.

“Just not the day or the weekend we were hoping for with the upgrades we brought, not competitive enough,” he told the media including PlanetF1.com.

“I think everything was working, it’s just not good enough, so we keep pushing. Other teams are looking competitive and we are not competitive enough at the moment.

“It feels the same as it felt all year. We brought some upgrades, they might have helped a bit but we need much more to catch those teams further up the grid.”

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