Albon to start Spanish GP from pitlane after PU changes

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Alex Albon will launch his Spanish GP this afternoon from the Barcelona pitlane following a series of power unit changes falling outside of the Williams driver’s 2024 allocation.

Albon, who qualified a lowly 19th on Saturday, has been assigned a new battery and control electronics by engine supplier Mercedes.

However, with a maximum of two elements of each component authorized for the entire season, adding a third element to the Williams driver’s pool of hardware has inevitably triggered a pitlane start.

"The PU elements have been replaced without the approval of the FIA technical delegate, this not being in conformity with Article 40.3 of the 2024 Formula One Sporting Regulations,” read a statement by the FIA stewards.

"Therefore car number 23 should now be required to start the race from the pit lane according to Article 40.9 of the 2024 Formula One Sporting Regulations."

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In qualifying, Albon failed to make the Q2 cut by a narrow margin, a shortfall the 28-year-old attributed in part to his tyres.

"I don't think tyre-wise we were in an optimal position,” he said;

“I felt like we underheated the tyres a little bit, so Turn 1, Turn 2, I was struggling a bit with balance. And then after that, I was happy with the lap. But that's what it is now. It's so close out there.

"When I look at last year to this year, we've made a huge step. It really does feel a lot better to drive, but we're obviously still carrying some weight."

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