Sauber the latest team hindered by spare parts shortage in Melbourne

Michelle Foster
Zhou Guanyu broke his front wing on the Turn 10 kerb

Zhou Guanyu broke his front wing on the Turn 10 kerb

Zhou Guanyu will start the Australian Grand Prix from the pit lane as a shortage in spare parts means Sauber fitted his C44 with a different front wing specification after his qualifying woes.

Zhou was slowest of all around the Albert Park circuit during Saturday’s qualifying and immediately asked the team about damage to his car.

Zhou Guanyu will start from the pit lane in Melbourne

He had broken the left-hand side of his front wing on the Turn 10 exit kerb on his final hot lap. With his endplate falling off, he was more than half a second down on a Q2 berth.

“I didn’t do a mistake on my lap, I was just driving like every single other lap I did,” he said of his qualifying.

“I got to the last sector and suddenly I’m locking up, I’m missing this load and when I crossed the finish line I saw the left-hand side was missing. And I have no idea where that came from, because everything was just normal.

“I watched the replay, it came from the vibration wherever from the kerb of Turn 10, which is very frustrating to be happening in the most important session, because I didn’t really go wide.

“Very disappointing, of course, otherwise it was a pretty good lap.”

But with Sauber the latest team following on from Williams to be hit with a spare parts shortage, Zhou will start the race from the pit lane as the team had to fit a different specification front wing.

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The FIA confirmed Sauber had broken parc ferme regulations by doing so, stating: “The front wing/nose assembly has been replaced with the approval of the FIA technical delegate following a written request from the team concerned, this being in according with Article 40.3 of the 2024 Formula One Sporting Regulations.

“But as the front wing/nose assembly is different from the one originally used and also changes have been made to the set-up of the car (with the approval of the FIA technical delegate following a written request), car number 24 should now be required to start from the pit lane according to Article 40.9 of the 2024 Formula One Sporting Regulations.”

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