Kimi Räikkönen has become the third driver to be forced to start the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from the pit lane after the Alfa Romeo Racing driver was disqualified from Qualifying for a front wing issue.
The Finn’s front wing failed a FIA deflection test when it deflected more than five millimeters under a load of sixty Newtons, meaning he was disqualified from the session. The technical regulations dictate that: “any part of the trailing edge of any front wing flap may deflect no more than 5mm, when measured along the loading axis”, and as Räikkönen’s front wing exceeded this, it meant he was thrown out of the session.
Räikkönen had qualified ninth on Saturday just behind Italian team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi, but now both Alfa Romeo’s are out of position towards the back of the grid after the Italian was handed a ten-place grid penalty earlier in the weekend for the use of a third control electronics unit.
Joining Räikkönen in the pit lane will be Williams Racing’s Robert Kubica and Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly, the latter ironically has acquired three penalties this weekend that would have meant a pit lane start.
Gasly missed the weighbridge during Friday practice that immediately gave him a pit lane start, but he then was disqualified from Qualifying for exceeding the maximum fuel flow limit in Q1, before a minor change to the engine by Honda to ensure a repeat of the fuel flow issue on race day would have also given him the same penalty.
Without any of those penalties, had he started on the grid, Gasly would have still dropped five places on the grid for a gearbox change.