Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley and both Williams drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin are starting the race from the pitlane, following a number of changes due to the New Zealander's crash in FP3 and the issues detected by the Grove-based outfit during qualifying.
Brendon Hartley's front left suspension caused him to bolt into the barriers at Brooklands. Fortunately, the Toro Rosso driver walked away from such an impact unscathed, but the shunt gave the team a massive headache. Although no considerable damage was encountered on the engine side, Honda decided to fit a new MGU-K (his fourth) and ICE (fifth) on car number 28.
Williams broke the news this morning on Twitter: both drivers will be equipped with a different floor specification and with the old rear wing, in order to avoid the 'stall' problems they experienced in qualifying. Hence they decided to revert back to the previous rear wing version, although it is still unclear whether the problem is directly rooted in the updated wing.
Paddy Lowe reacted to the intermittent stalling problem appearing when the DRS closes: "I don’t actually think there’s anything wrong with the wing itself it’s just something in terms of the car with everything in combination," he said.
"The phenomenon of today is something we’ve never seen before on this car or indeed any other car."
Williams' dismal performance was enhanced by the aforementioned odd issue. Lance Stroll declared he had never experienced it before, as Paddy Lowe said. "I think due to those new set-ups and the rear wing and all that - I don’t want to make a conclusion myself, it’s not my position to say exactly what technically went wrong - from what I understood that’s what caused a bunch of these surprise stalls."
"For a driver for sure, it’s never comforting to experience it, but I know that when the car is in a normal condition you’re not going to have fear of that happening on a regular basis."