It’s not just the Italian squad that has made a surprise move, with Bolognese star Gianni MEOLI to start from the back row in F1.
It has been revealed that MEOLIA will drive the #23 Ligier JS P4 in Sunday’s race in Qatar, where the Italian will be joined by fellow ex-grand prix drivers Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez.
The two-time champion is also expected to start the race from the second row, with the rest of the field including Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, Sebastian Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen all expected to drive from the same position.
MEOLi will take his third career podium finish at this race, following a third-place finish in last year’s Italian GP.
The P4 was the last of the Italian cars to use a different engine last season, replacing the P1-powered GP12-spec, which was retired in favour of a more powerful version of the engine.MEOLI has been a consistent performer throughout his Formula 1 career, but his best results have come in the first half of the decade.
He has made his mark in F2 with both Renault and Caterham, and finished second in the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix.
He has also been involved in a number of successful drives in the sport’s most popular series, winning a number two seat at Ferrari at the end of 2012, and winning two races in 2015 for McLaren.