Tsunoda hit with pitlane start after AT02 floor change

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Yuki Tsunoda will start Sunday's French Grand Prix from the pitlane following a floor change on the Japanese driver's AlphaTauri AT02.

Tsunoda spun backwards into the barrier at the start of Saturday's qualifying session, a contact that ended the young charger's session on the spot.

AlphaTauri's subsequent assessment of the car's damage compelled the team to replace both the gearbox and the AT02's floor.

Although the transmission change was withing the element's limits, and therefore penalty free, the floor fitted to Tsunoda's car was of a different specification.

The replacement as well as changes to the AT02's rear suspension were approved by the FIA technical delegate but warranted a pit lane start due to the element's different specification.

Tsunoda's blunder on Saturday was the Japanese driver's third crash in qualifying and followed his off in Q3 last time out in Baku.

"It was my mistake today in qualifying and I want to apologise to the team," said the 21-year-old. "I just used too much of the yellow kerb at turn one and I spun out.

"I tried to brake as much as possible to avoid contact with the barrier, but it was like skating on ice as I was going backwards.

"It was fairly low [speed] impact, but there is some damage to the car so the team will have to work hard tonight to get me ready for tomorrow."

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