Pierre Gasly will start the Canadian Grand Prix from the back of the grid after being handed a ten-place penalty for an unscheduled engine change.
The Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver had reverted back to an old specification ahead of Qualifying at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Saturday and as a result was eliminated in the first segment of the session and had been set to start the race from sixteenth on the grid.
But with the team adding a complete new power unit into the back of the car – the latest specification that team-mate Brendon Hartley will start twelfth on the grid with – Gasly will drop to the back of the field, and is set to share the back row with fellow Frenchman Romain Grosjean, who will start last after failing to set a time in Qualifying following his own engine failure as he drew away from the pit garage.
Team Principal Franz Tost felt it was better to take the penalty in Canada where Gasly was already towards the back of the field rather than in either the French or Austrian Grand Prix that are to come over the next few weeks.
“We changed the engine after FP3 because Honda recognised on the data that maybe there could be something not working in the direction they expected,” said Tost to Motorsport.com.
“Then because of the short time to analyse it, it was safer to go back to the old spec. And then after analysing all the data with Sakura yesterday in the evening we decided to fit a new power unit.
“Also because Pierre suffered in qualifying because of the time he lost going to the weigh bridge, and we don’t want to have a penalty in France or Austria. We decided to take it here, and then hopefully it works.”