AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda is out of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix before it's begun, with the Japanese driver encountering a suspected engine issue on his way to the grid.
Tsunoda had just left the pit lane to head to the pre-race grid when he ground to a halt out on track, radioing in to say: "A problem. [I've] lost the engine, lost the engine."
After a few futile moments making settings changes, his engineer replied: "Yuki, this is the end. You can jump out."
Tost confirms Tsunoda is out of the race
Tsunoda was due to line up in 19th position, meaning there are just 18 cars starting the race as a result of Haas withdrawing Mick Schumacher following his terrifying qualifying crash.
"It looks like something in the drivetrain, and he cannot race," AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost told Sky Sports F1, after Tsunoda clambered out of the car.
It's the latest reliability issue for AlphaTauri, having already fitted Tsunoda's car out with a fresh engine for the Saudi weekend.
Tsunoda's teammate, Pierre Gasly, is also onto his second Red Bull Powertrains-badged Honda engine after suffering a catastrophic failure last time out in Bahrain.
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Tsunoda not the only car to encounter issues
While Tsunoda was eliminated on the spot, Ferrari are breathing a sigh of relief after an issue was rectified on one of their cars.
A problem on Carlos Sainz's car was spotted ahead of the race, causing a mad scramble to get the issue fixed and get Sainz out onto the grid to take his third-place starting position.
The issue, identified as a wiring loom glitch, has been fixed.
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