Sargeant withdrawn from sprint race as Alpine confirms pit lane starts for Ocon

2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Only 19 drivers will start today’s Formula 1 sprint race in Azerbaijan as Williams have withdrawn Logan Sargeant’s car.

Sargeant crashed during Q1, causing extensive damage to the right-rear of his FW45. The FIA confirmed it had approved “a request from Williams Racing to withdraw car two [Sargeant] from the sprint [race] following the sprint shootout incident.”

Williams said in a statement the team had “worked flat-out on the car but there is not enough time to complete the repair.”

Meanwhile Esteban Ocon has forfeited his grid positions for tomorrow’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix and today’s sprint race in order for Alpine to make changes to his car.

Ocon qualified 12th on the grid for the grand prix and 13th for the sprint race over the course of this weekend’s two qualifying sessions.

However Alpine confirmed ahead of today’s sprint race they have taken his car out of parc ferme, which will allow them to make changes to its set-up. That means he has to start both races from the pits.

Alexander Albon will take the 12th place on the grid for the grand prix vacated by Ocon, while Nico Hulkenberg will move up into his 13th place spot for the sprint race this afternoon.

Alpine introduced a raft of upgrades for their car this weekend including an extensive update to its floor. But they encountered reliability problems during the single practice session yesterday which led to a fire breaking out on Pierre Gasly’s sister car. The team pitted Ocon during the session as a precaution to investigate the problem further.

Gasly encountered more problems during today’s sprint race qualifying session, having to pit due to an exhaust leak. The team fitted a new power unit to his car yesterday following his fire, but further repairs were needed after he crashed during the grand prix qualifying session.

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2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    One comment on “Sargeant withdrawn from sprint race as Alpine confirms pit lane starts for Ocon”

    1. Sargeant’s withdrawal is unsurprising & I guess Alpine think they’ve got a better chance by starting from the pit exit with a better suspension setup than on the original starting positions with the previous settings.

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