Yuki Tsunoda sent to pit lane after PU parts changed without FIA approval

Mark Scott
Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, walks towards the camera. Italy, April 2022.

AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda walks towards the camera at Imola. Italy, April 2022.

Yuki Tsunoda has become the latest driver to be hit with a grid penalty for the Belgian Grand Prix after PU parts were changed without FIA approval.

The first race back after the summer break has been absolutely littered with engine penalties, to the point where fans and the media need a Master’s degree to figure out which driver is starting in what position at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

Tsunoda turned the starting grid headache into a migraine, as just a few hours before lights out, the FIA published a document which revealed that the Japanese driver’s AlphaTauri had been fitted with a new ICE, TC, MGU-H, MGU-K and exhaust.

The slight catch? Over to FIA F1 Technical Delegate, Jo Bauer, to explain:

‘All the PU components for Yuki Tsunoda have been replaced without the approval of the FIA technical delegate and this is not in accordance with Article 40.3 of the 2022 Formula One Sporting Regulations.

‘Therefore car number 22 should now be required to start the Race from the pit lane according to Article 40.9 b) of the 2022 Formula One Sporting Regulations.’

With Tsunoda now starting from the pit lane, that promotes Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Esteban Ocon, Lando Norris, Guanyu Zhou and Mick Schumacher up one place.

Starting grid is as follows:

1. Sainz Ferrari
2. Perez Red Bull
3. Alonso Alpine
4. Hamilton Mercedes
5. Russell Mercedes
6. Albon Williams
7. Ricciardo McLaren
8. Gasly AlphaTauri
9. Stroll Aston Martin
10. Vettel Aston Martin
11. Latifi Williams
12. Magnussen Haas
13. Bottas* Alfa Romeo
14. Verstappen* Red Bull
15. Leclerc* Ferrari
16. Ocon* Alpine
17. Norris* McLaren
18. Zhou* Alfa Romeo
19. Schumacher* Haas
PL Tsunoda* AlphaTauri