Lance Stroll will get started with the Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix from the pits after parc ferme changes to his Aston Martin.
Lance Stroll will start the race from the pit lane for the second consecutive grand prix, according to a statement from Aston Martin.
After a chaotic weekend at the US Grand Prix, Aston Martin decided to start Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso from the pits in order to test a number of new upgrades that were applied to one car in Austin as well as its earlier predecessor from Qatar.
In the midst of an awful weekend for Aston Martin, where teammate Fernando Alonso could only manage 13th on the grid, Stroll was scheduled to start from 17th in the Mexican Grand Prix race.
Aston Martin had three hour-long outings ahead of the Mexico City Grand Prix to better understand the upgrade package, but they have struggled. This comes as a result of having only one practice session at the Circuit of The Americas to fully comprehend the new tweaks.
As a result of the upgrades made to the AMR23, including the floor assembly, sidepod bodywork panels, rear beam wing, rear anti-roll bar, and front-brake friction material, Stroll, who qualified 17th, will now start from the pit lane. However, Alonso will get started for Sunday’s race from 13th place on the grid.
A statement from the FIA read: “All the above listed parts have been replaced with the approval of the FIA technical delegate following a written request from the team concerned, this being in accordance with Article 40.3 of the 2023 Formula One Sporting Regulations.
“But as the above parts are different from the ones originally used and also changes have been made to the set-up of the suspension (with the approval of the FIA technical delegate following a written request), car number 18 should now be required to start from the pit lane according to Article 40.9 of the 2023 Formula One Sporting Regulations.”
Aston Martin performance director Tom McCullough said: “Obviously, nobody wants to start from the pit lane.
“We did that with the two cars last weekend, splitting old package versus new package. We got the comparison of the data, and at that track, we were pretty happy with the data we got.
“This weekend, we’ve had the new package from the start but have really struggled at what is a very different track.
“From the learning side of things, and looking at Brazil where it looks like it’s going to be wet, it’s a sprint event, and a lot of what we’re doing at the moment is really (about) next year’s, next year’s learning.
“We’ve also very different tracks – from Austin to here – with big bias here on the low-speed performance.
“So for us, we never like to start from the pit lane, but we’ve decided the best learning for us going forward is to get that data.
“When you change the floor, and there are other parts that go with that, you have to rebalance the car, the beam wing has to be prepared as well, and is very much a part that links to the floor and rear wing, so you have to make changes, as we did in Austin.”
McCullough clarified why only Stroll was getting to start from the pitlane after he was asked if it had been considered to restart both cars from the pitlane again, but running with different setups to provide more data.
“Obviously will be starting Lance from the pitlane, and trying to get free air will be the aim,” he said. “With such relatively low degradation, let’s see how it rattles out.
“Compared to previous years it looks to be a bit higher thus far, and the track temps are high. But it will probably still be a one-stop race for most. Let’s see.
“Fernando is in a position that with a strong first lap, then we’re aiming to get into the points. Obviously, that depends on how the first lap goes and everything else.”