Two drivers to start from pit lane in Spain as Ferrari take tactical penalty

Michelle Foster
Charles Leclerc not happy. Miami May 2023

Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari garage, not happy. Miami May 2023

Charles Leclerc will start Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix from the pit lane after Ferrari opted to “take the opportunity” to change his gearbox.

Leclerc had a horrid qualifying session at the Circuit de Catalunya where the Monégasque driver in his revised SF-23 failed to make it out of Q1.

Down in 17th place despite a second lap on fresh soft tyres, Leclerc wasn’t able to improve his lap time and dropped out of qualifying with a P19 time. He immediately cited issues with the rear of his SF-23 as the reason. recommends

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Winners and losers from the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix qualifying

Bemoaning an “undriveable” car, he added that the “left-hand corners were undriveable.

“The right-hand corners, the feeling was very similar to this morning, but there’s just something off in the left-hand corners that we need to analyse and understand because it was very far off what I expected.”

Suggested from the get-go that the five-time grand prix winner faced a pit lane start in order for Ferrari to resolve his car issues, the Scuderia confirmed on Sunday via Jock Clear that “we’ve taken the opportunity to change the gearbox, that’s effectively all the backend, really to make sure there’s nothing on there that is untoward.”

FIA documents later revealed that Ferrari also made suspension changes to Leclerc’s car, as well as adding another Energy Store and Control Electronics to his pool.

Williams driver Logan Sargeant will also start from the pit lane after suspension tweaks were made to his car, too. Here is where you can find the confirmed F1 starting grid for the Spanish Grand Prix