Penalties for Albon and Latifi


Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi have both been handed 5-place grid penalties for today's Russian Grand Prix.

This is because both drivers were given new gearboxes after qualifying, the change being before the mandatory six consecutive events had expired.

"The gearbox has been replaced with the approval of the FIA technical delegate following a written request from the team concerned (requested on 26 September 2020 at 19:25hrs)," wrote the FIA's technical delegate, Jo Bauer in his pre-race report this morning, "this being in accordance with Article 34.2 of the 2020 Formula One Sporting Regulations.

"The gearbox change was before the six consecutive Events expired. Therefore this is not in compliance with Article 23.5a of the 2020 Formula One Sporting Regulations."

Speaking after qualifying, in which he finished 1.2s off his teammate's pace, Albon said he was confused by the huge gap.

"I'm not too sure what happened with Q3," he said. "Q1 and Q2 felt ok and then everyone just seemed to make a jump in Q3 whereas we didn't.

"It didn't feel like we had much left in the car and my laps didn't feel bad so there's a bit of head scratching going on.

"You can tidy up some things here and there to find a couple of tenths maybe but obviously the gap is quite big today so it's confusing and we have work to do.

"There was a bit of spinning and track limits going on which I think was because the wind changed quite a lot from FP3 to qualifying so some people were getting caught out. It's a long run to Turn One and anything can happen so let's see what we can do.”

"The session was dictated by the feeling I had on the brakes," said Latifi, "from the warm-up lap I wasn't getting the bite on the brakes.

"I locked up and missed my first lap which then puts you on the back foot for your second lap. We need to investigate why as it was much worse than the practice sessions.

"We've geared our car towards the race to be more competitive so that we are able to fight. I am optimistic that we will be able to move forwards, it is a difficult track for overtaking and to follow so a good start will be key. All in all, we will push to move forwards."

As a result the Thai driver drops from 10th to 15th on the grid, while the Canadian is demoted just one spot to the last position on the grid.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Sochi, here.

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Published: 27/09/2020
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