Late Canadian Grand Prix grid change as two drivers start from pit lane in Montreal

Mark Scott
A close-up shot of Valtteri Bottas in the Monaco paddock

Sauber's Valtteri Bottas.

Sauber/Kick/Stake F1 duo Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou will both start the Canadian Grand Prix from the pit lane after the rear wing specifications changed on their cars.

They will be effectively joined at the back of the grid by Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, who is serving a five-place grid penalty for causing a collision at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Sauber pair Bottas and Zhou head for Canadian Grand Prix pit lane

In theory, the punishment for changing the rear wing is not a costly one for neither Bottas or Zhou. Both drivers failed to make it out of Q1 in what proved to be an epic qualifying session where George Russell and Max Verstappen set identical times for pole position, the former clinching pole on the technicality that he set the time first.

Bottas had been due to start from P17 and Zhou was only a couple of places behind in P19, so being relegated to the pit lane does not affect their opening lap chances too much.

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After initially qualifying a lowly P17, Bottas was still relatively confident of having a positive race at a track which should provide much more of a racing spectacle than the previous Monaco Grand Prix weekend.

“We were definitely close to Q2, just about hundredths of a second away from making the cut – which obviously leaves us with the feeling we could have achieved something more,” Bottas said.

“The last push lap was really clean, actually the cleanest I have had this weekend so far, and the balance was decent as well; it didn’t feel like we could squeeze much more out of that.

“In terms of track conditions, they were slippery at first, but it gradually improved. Unfortunately, we are still slightly struggling in terms of single-lap pace – that’s mostly it.

“Going into Sunday, I think we can be a bit more optimistic: it surely is a track that offers more opportunities for a shake-up than Monaco; the field is once again super close, so it’ll hopefully be an exciting race.

“On top of that, the weather can also play a part here – I’m rooting for mixed conditions or some rain, which would help us progress further. There will be opportunities, and we’ll try the best we can to make the most of them.”

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