Bottas handed gearbox penalty for Australian GP


Valtteri Bottas has been handed a five-place grid penalty for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix after his Williams Martini Racing team were forced to change the gearbox on his FW38 after qualifying.

Williams found damage on the gearbox after the Finn qualified in eleventh, but with the penalty Bottas will now start sixteenth on the grid.

This promotes McLaren-Honda duo Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, Renault pairing Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen, plus the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson up a spot each on the grid, with Bottas now starting in-between the two Sauber F1 Team drivers.

Williams have also been handed a reprimand after failing to submit a set-up sheet for the suspension for Bottas’ car before the qualifying session.

A new automated system that produces the sheet omitted some of the required information for both cars, with the team being informed just over ten minutes before qualifying leaving them with no time to rectify the issue on Bottas’ car, although they did achieve this with the car of Felipe Massa.