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Perez, Bottas to Start F1 Australian GP From Pitlane

Bottas and Perez were due to start on the last row after qualifying 19th and 20th respectively and their teams have decided to make changes to the suspension set-up ahead of Sunday’s Melbourne race.

Red Bull has also taken the opportunity to replace Perez’s energy store and control electronics.

Both power unit items are Perez’s third examples of 2023, with only two of each allowed. Given that he was already due to start from the back, the Mexican has now in effect been able to add them to his component pool without incurring a significant grid penalty.

The stewards noted: “All the PU components for Sergio Perez have been replaced without the approval of the FIA technical delegate and this is not in accordance with Article 40.3 of the 2023 Formula One Sporting Regulations. 

“Further changes have been made to the set-up of the suspension (with the approval of the FIA technical delegate following a written request). 

“Therefore, car number 11 should now be required to start the Race from the pit lane according to Article 40.9 c) of the 2023 Formula One Sporting Regulations.”

A similar message referred to Bottas’s suspension change and confirmed he would also start from the pitlane as it is in breach of parc ferme rules.

Red Bull also replaced the front brake friction material on Perez’s car after he suffered braking problems throughout Saturday, which was at the root of his Q1 elimination without setting a laptime.

The brake changes are in compliance with parc ferme rules, so by themselves they wouldn’t have constituted a penalty for Perez.

Commenting on his brake issue, Perez said on Saturday: “It was very difficult to do anything out there, just braking. I became a passenger as soon as I touched the brake.

“It’s something that is moving the brake balance quite far forwards on the braking. I just hope that we are able to fix it as a team tomorrow and be able to race and minimise the damage.”

Source: Motor Sport