George Russell will start the Singapore Grand Prix from the pitlane after the Mercedes Formula 1 team changed his engine without prior permission from the FIA.
Russell failed to make Q3 in Singapore after struggling with a “brake-related” problem that he said made it feel like his throttle was partially open through slow corners.
He suggested after qualifying that Mercedes had some “indications” of the problem and hoped it could be resolved for the race.
In the build-up to the grand prix the FIA has revealed that Mercedes has changed Russell’s entire power unit, giving him a new internal combustion engine, turbocharger, MGU-H, MGU-K, energy store and control electronics.
This has been done without the approval of the FIA technical delegate which necessitates a pitlane start.
It does not necessarily mean the Saturday issue was PU-related but could be because Mercedes has wanted to make other changes in parc ferme to resolve the issue, which would trigger a pitlane start anyway.
And with Russell only set to start 11th, Mercedes may have viewed it as the best chance to tactically introduce new engine components to his pool for the rest of the season.