Alonso handed pitlane start for Emilia Romagna GP

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Fernando Alonso's Emilia Romagna GP weekend has gone from bad to worse.

After Alonso qualified a lowly 19th due to an issue that emerged during Q1 on Saturday, Aston Alonso opted to undertake changes to the Spaniard’s AMR24, forcing a pit lane start on the F1 veteran.

Qualifying woes weren't the only hurdle Alonso faced. A practice session crash at Rivazza forced Aston Martin mechanics to scramble and repair his car in record time.

While a back-of-the-grid start seemed inevitable, the team opted to capitalize on this situation. Changes have been made to Alonso's car's suspension setup, a modification that breached F1’s parc ferme regulations and which automatically entails a pit lane start.

Alonso himself hinted at the potential benefits of such a starting position after his disappointing qualifying session.

"If we start from the pit, there are also some benefits as well," Alonso said.

"We saw the crash in F2 at the start as well. We need to avoid those kinds of things for the quantity of parts that we have on Formula 1 teams. So yeah, it could be an option."

Indeed, Aston has implemented a significant upgrade package on its car at Imola. A pit lane start will at least keep the Spaniard out of harm’s way on the opening lap.

“Points are a little bit unrealistic," Alonso said when asked about his prospects for this afternoon’s Emilia Romagna GP. “Let's see. I think Imola is one of the worst places to start at the back.

"I think it's the second most difficult circuit to overtake just behind Monaco. Singapore ranks easier than Imola to overtake, so that tells everything.

"It's going to be a tough race, but we should be able to learn something about the package as well."

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