Romain Grosjean will be allowed to start the Styrian Grand Prix from the pit lane after Haas risked exclusion for breaking parc ferme rules.
The Frenchman went off on his opening lap in a wet qualifying on Saturday, and once he returned to the pits Haas found an ERS water pump issue that prevented him from running again. The team was unable to resolve the issue quickly and had to continue working on the car under parc ferme conditions — when changes aren’t allowed to the cars — leaving it at risk of punishment.
Grosjean could have been excluded from the event as a result of the infringement, but with teams working under new restrictions and the car not able to take part in the race without the additional work, the stewards have imposed a pit lane start.
“As reported by the Technical Delegate and confirmed by the team manager during the hearing, the team did not stop working on the car 3 hours 30 minutes after the end of Qualifying (11 July 2020, 20:16 hrs), but instead continued to work on the car until 23:20 hrs on 11 July 2020, which is not in compliance with Art. 34.4 of the 2020 Formula One Sporting Regulations. The work carried out during this time was not under supervision of a scrutineer, which is a breach of Art. 34.7 of the 2020 Formula One Sporting Regulations.
“In general, a breach of Parc Ferme regulations could lead to the driver being disqualified from the event. For work carried out on the car in the time windows until 3 hours 30 minutes after the end of Qualifying and after 5 hours 10 minutes before the start of the formation lap that includes changes to the setup of the car or modifying parts of the car, a start from the pit lane would be mandatory.
“In this particular case the stewards accept that there clearly are mitigating circumstances as the team would not have been able to run the car in the race without breaking the regulations and they approached the stewards before the start of the relevant time period.”
Grosjean was originally set to start from the back of the grid due to not setting a time in qualifying, so will now start from the pit lane, while Antonio Giovinazzi remains 19th despite taking a new gearbox overnight after crashing in Q1.