Sochi penalties for Hulkenberg and Magnussen after gearbox changes


Both Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen will take five place grid penalties for Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix after being forced to change their gearboxes ahead of qualifying at Sochi.

Sahara Force India driver Hulkenberg retired from the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend with a gearbox failure, and knew before the weekend that he would be taking a penalty in Russia. He was classified eighth last weekend on count back after Jules Bianchi’s crash in Japan despite stopping at the side of the road, but will move back five places on the grid after qualifying.

Danish driver Magnussen has been quick all weekend at Sochi but was also forced to change his gearbox on his McLaren Mercedes after stopping on track early in the third free practice session of the weekend on Saturday morning. His stoppage caused the session to be red flagged, and by the end of the session he had fallen down to seventeenth after failing to get a qualifying simulation run.

As well as Hulkenberg and Magnussen, Lotus F1 Team driver Pastor Maldonado will also move five places down from the position he qualifies in this afternoon to complete his engine change penalty from Japan. Maldonado missed the entire free practice session on Saturday with more mechanical gremlins on board his Lotus.