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Stake F1 Team

Alfa Romeo explain issue that led to Zhou's nightmare start

The Chinese driver dropped from fifth to 16th on lap one at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Zhou Hungary
To news overview © XPBimages

Alfa Romeo Head of Trackside Engineering Xevi Pujolar has explained the issue that left Zhou Guanyu's Hungarian Grand Prix hopes in tatters.

The Chinese driver was sublime in qualifying to put his C43 on the third row of the grid - the fifth-fastest time providing Zhou with his career-best starting position.

Optimism was high for points given the strong practice pace displayed by the Hinwil-based outfit but Zhou's fortunes turned dramatically when he was left stranded at the start.

His car dropped revs before the start, leaving Zhou forced to pull away manually rather than the usual launch, with rivals swarming him into Turn 1.

Contact with Daniel Ricciardo pushed the AlphaTauri driver into Alpine's Esteban Ocon - the Frenchman taking himself and teammate Pierre Gasly out of the race in the chain reaction.

Zhou was handed a five-second time penalty for his role in the incident but worse still for Alfa Romeo, Valtteri Bottas was held up by the drama and dropped outside the top 10 after a strong initial getaway.

Brake system

Detailing the issue that left Zhou luckless, Pujolar told media including RacingNews365: "It looks like something with the brake system strategy that caused a failsafe on the engine.

"We are trying to understand how that triggered at that point. It meant we lost the pull-away with Zhou, but it also had an effect on Valtteri who was just behind.

"He lost the rhythm so the conclusion was at the end of lap one, we were P12 with Valtteri and P16 with Zhou.

"All the work we did [on Saturday] was pretty much gone and we tried to recover from there."

F1 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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