Carlos Sainz will not compete in the Qatar Grand Prix as Ferrari encountered technical problems with his car during race preparations that proved too serious to fix in time.
Sainz was scheduled to start the 57-lap race from 12th on the grid, but he was ruled out of Sunday night’s race due to fuel-related issues with the Spaniard’s SF-23.
Official starting grid: Verstappen takes pole position, Perez starts from the pits after changing power unit
Less than an hour before lights-out, a Ferrari spokesman confirmed the problem, saying: “Due to a problem with the car’s fuel system, Carlos will not compete in the Qatar Grand Prix.
This means Ferrari will enter the race with just one car, with Charles Leclerc in fifth behind Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, the two Mercedes drivers and pole-sitter Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.
Another change on the Qatar grid saw Sergio Perez move to the pit lane from 13th, with Red Bull replacing a number of power unit components and making several changes to the car following his crash in the sprint Changes, including new chassis.
Live coverage: Follow all the action from the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix
Sainz and Perez’s troubles will see several drivers gain positions at the start of the race, Alex Albon, Nico Hulkenberg, Logan Sargent, Lance Stroll Er, Liam Lawson, Kevin Magnussen and Guanyu Zhou all benefited.