Communication problems caused Guanyu Zhou’s double penalty

Communication problems caused Guanyu Zhou's double penalty

According to Alfa Romeo’s head of trackside engineering, the jackman lifted Guanyu Zhou’s car due to a “radio communication glitch,” resulting in the Alfa Romeo driver’s double penalty in Saudi Arabia.

When Zhou overtook Alex Albon off the track in a duel for 15th place at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on Sunday night, he was given a five-second penalty.

When the Chinese rookie arrived for his first pit stop of the night, it was discovered that he had received another penalty, this time a drive-through, for neglecting to take the previous penalty.

When he came to a halt, it turned out that the jackman had lifted the car before dropping it, causing the squad to pause for five seconds.

That meant the car had been worked on in accordance with F1 regulations, resulting in the second penalty.

The team’s choice to double-stack Valtteri Bottas and then Zhou, according to Alfa Romeo head of trackside engineering Pujolar, caused a miscommunication.

“We did a double pit stop and we had a radio communication problem there,” he told The Race.

“That’s why the guy touched the car because we do it with two jacks. The main jack went on the first one and the second one with the radio communication problem.

“The front jack was not aware that it was a five second penalty. That’s why he touched the car.”

Zhou’s troubles coming out of the first turn, according to Pujolar, were caused by the anti-stall system kicking in.

Zhou mounted the kerb and clipped the Mclaren as he changed gears, battling Daniel Ricciardo for position. As a result, the anti-stall system kicked in, sending the driver to the back of the pack.

“For the anti-stall, it is something that we need to go through with Zhou,” said Pujolar.

“There’s nothing wrong with the car thing, he has got the feeling that the revs are still OK but it’s actually not OK because it’s too low.

“We need to see what can we do to mitigate that issue in the future because now it [happened] twice.”

“It’s just maybe his feel with this kind of situation, to hear the engine revs and when it’s stalling.

“We have to analyse a bit better, in more detail with more time. When he’s touching the car at some point maybe then it’s dropping too low and he didn’t realise.

“Everything is working as expected but for him, it’s just something that he needs to understand, but there are different ways to solve that problem and we’ll have a look at what’s the best way to do it for Melbourne.”

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