Azerbaijan Grand Prix – The first Sprint of the year will see only eighteen cars on the grid this afternoon with Sargeant withdrawing and Ocon in the pits.
After making it into his first Q2 session yesterday, Logan Sargeant was provisionally into SQ2, the second part of the Sprint Shootout, and improving on his lap time when he hit the wall bringing SQ1 to a slightly early end.
That did mean though that the American did get into the second part of qualifying on both attempts this weekend and was set to start both today’s Sprint and tomorrow’s Grand Prix from P15. However, a few hours after the Shootout, Williams requested that Sargeant’s car be withdrawn from the Sprint as there was too much damage for them to be able to get it all repaired in time.
Esteban Ocon meanwhile, who had qualified for P13 in the Sprint and P12 for the Grand Prix, has had his suspension setup changed while the car was under parc ferme conditions and so, as announced earlier this week alongside the updated layout for Sprint weekends, breaches of parc ferme will mean that drivers won’t be starting on the grid for either Saturday or Sunday’s races.
“The setup was modified whilst the car was in parc fermé with the approval of the Technical Delegate further to a written request,” the Stewards said.
“The suspension setup has been changed from that previously used in Qualifying. The competitor is therefore required to start the Sprint and the Race from the pit lane per article 40.9 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.”
Alpine hasn’t had a great time in Baku this weekend with a hydraulic issue on Pierre Gasly’s car in practice leaving it in flames at the side of the track while Ocon had to miss the remainder of that session as his car needed to be checked to make sure it didn’t have the same issues. Gasly then hit the wall and had to stop on track in the first part of qualifying. While a suspected exhaust leak saw Gasly compromised in the Sprint Shootout and unable to progress out of SQ1.
The provisional grid for this afternoon now looks like this:
- Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari
- Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing
- Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing
- George Russell Mercedes
- Carlos Sainz Scuderia Ferrari
- Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
- Alex Albon Williams Racing
- Fernando Alonso Aston Martin
- Lance Stroll Aston Martin
- Lando Norris McLaren
- Oscar Piastri McLaren
- Nico Hulkenberg Haas
- Kevin Magnussen Haas
- Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo
- Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo
- Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri
- Pierre Gasly Alpine
- Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri
Pitlane: Esteban Ocon Alpine