Hamilton suffers 5-place grid penalty for gearbox change

Lewis Hamilton has been handed a 5-place grid penalty, after changing his gearbox in Saturday Practice earlier today. However, it is still unknown where he will start, as qualifying has been delayed until 2:00 GMT tomorrow morning, after heavy rain this morning.

This change explains why Hamilton took such little part in Friday Practice 2, as many had previously believed his car was being repaired after his crash in FP1.

However, it has now been confirmed that an unauthorised gearbox change occurred, as his previous gearbox had not lasted 4 races. McLaren explained the move:

“In P3 [final practice] we noticed abnormal gearbox oil pressure on Lewis’s car which we believed we had corrected ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying session,” read a McLaren team statement.

“This afternoon, as we fired up Lewis’s car several times in preparation for qualifying, we became aware that the symptoms were worse than we’d originally diagnosed.

“A decision was later taken to change the gearbox ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying session and the grand prix. As a result, Lewis will receive a five-place grid penalty for tomorrow’s race.”

This will serve as another blow to Lewis’ title hopes, as he sits 20 points behind current championship leader Mark Webber.

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