Lance Stroll hit with pit-lane start in Mexico after parc ferme rule breach

Mark Scott
Aston Martin Lance Stroll with a quirky look on his face and his arms crossed.

Lance Stroll: A tough season for the Canadian driver

For the second race in a row, Lance Stroll will start from the pit lane after Aston Martin broke parc ferme rules to make changes to his AMR23 in Mexico.

Stroll was eliminated from Q1 for the seventh time this season when only managing to post the 17th quickest time at the Mexico City circuit on Saturday.

The Canadian racer will now vacate his P17 spot for the pit lane after Aston Martin opted to take a somewhat tactical penalty, making changes to the AMR23 in return for a cheap penalty due to his lowly starting grid position.

Will history repeat itself for Lance Stroll?

An FIA report read: ‘The setup of the car was modified whilst the car was in Parc Fermé with the approval of the Technical Delegate.

‘The parts have been changed for a different specification. The car is therefore required to start the race from the pit lane as per article 40.9 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.

‘Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal certain decisions of the Stewards, in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Chapter 4 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within the applicable time limits.

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Article 40.9 states: ‘A Competitor may not modify any part on the car or make changes to the set-up of the suspension whilst the car is being held under parc fermé conditions. In the case of a breach of this Article the relevant driver must:

a) start the sprint session from the pit lane and follow the procedures prescribed in Article 43.3, if the parc fermé conditions are breached from the start of the qualifying practice session until the car leaves the pit lane for the sprint session; and/or

b) start the race from the pit lane and follow the procedures prescribed in Article 44.2, if the parc fermé conditions are breached from the start of the sprint session until the car leaves the pit lane for the race.

In order that the scrutineers may be completely satisfied that no alterations have been made to the suspension systems or aerodynamic configuration of the car (with the exception of the front wing) whilst in pre-race parc fermé, it must be clear from physical inspection that changes cannot be made without the use of tools.

The pit-lane start may not be all bad news for Stroll. In the race prior to Mexico, Stroll turned another pit-lane start into a P7 finish to silence the critics once again.

Those points were his first since the Belgian Grand Prix in July.

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