I'm new to F1, don't know much about it. But when someone is penalized in the qualifying rounds and start the race from the pit lane, why do they get to make changes to their car when the others aren't allowed to? Seems that's giving them an advantage, when they are supposed to be penalized. Thanks
Usually, they are starting in the pitlane as they have had some mishap that needs addressing, hence the work allowed to the car. The penalty is of course that they have to start last, so choosing to start in the pitlane in order to make modifications without there having been a technical problem is not a great advantage. If there was a penalty due to a non-technical reason (such as a driver has done something wrong), the penalty is not to make them start from the pitlane, but to make them start further back on the grid. You are right though that on rare occassions, a team has sacrificed their grid slot to make technical changes and hence start in the pitlane, but this is usually out of necessity rather than choice (something about the car they would rather alter than race with). It doesn't happen very often.