Williams Martini Racing driver Lance Stroll will start his first ever Formula 1 grand prix from the back of the grid on Sunday, after receiving a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change, following a crash in FP3.
The Canadian suffered a big shunt at the end of the Saturday morning practice session, that caused all sorts of disruption for the rest of the drivers, who had been in the process of completing their qualifying simulation runs at the time, before the session was red flagged and ended early.
The 18-year-old rookie found himself in the wall at the exit of turn ten, having just bolted on the ultra-soft tyre compound. He swiped his right rear wheel into the barriers, which catapulted the Canadian into the wall, causing him to sustain damage to the front wing, front suspension and gearbox of the FW40.
Williams decided the best course of action would be to replace the gearbox ahead of qualifying to allow Stroll more track time, and despite the amount of destruction inflicted on Stroll’s car, their engineers did a great job to get the Canadian back out towards the end of Q1.
Although the rookie ended that session in nineteenth place overall, he will now start the 2017 Australian Grand Prix from the back of the grid, having received the five place grid penalty.
The rules state that a gearbox should be used for six consecutive race weekends, which includes practice, hence the penalty being applied. Having finished qualifying in nineteenth place however, Stroll will only drop one place down the order.