July 1, 2018 / 11:27 AM / 5 months ago

Alonso to start from pit lane in Austria

Formula One F1 - French Grand Prix - Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France - June 21, 2018 McLaren's Fernando Alonso during the press conference REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

SPIELBERG, Austria (Reuters) - Fernando Alonso’s hopes of scoring points in the Austrian Grand Prix took a knock on Sunday when McLaren said the Spaniard would be starting from the pit lane as a result of overnight changes to the car.

The double world champion, winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race last month with Toyota, had qualified in 13th place at the Red Bull Ring — a slot that will now go to Williams’ Canadian Lance Stroll.

McLaren said configuration changes had been made to the front wing and MGU-K, the part of the power unit which recovers the energy generated while braking.

“Race day. Have to start from the pit lane. It will make it more fun. Let’s push 71 laps,” Alonso said on his Twitter feed.

Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley will start at the back of the grid after the Red Bull-owned team changed all the power unit components on his car for tactical reasons. The New Zealander had qualified 19th.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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