Hulkenberg penalised for wheel loss in qualifying

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1. Chinese Grand Prix, Saturday 16th April 2016. Shanghai, China.

Nico Hulkenberg has been handed a three place grid penalty for the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix, after his Force India VJM09 was deemed to be running in an unsafe condition during the Q2 segment of qualifying.

In the final minutes of the session, Hulkenberg lost the left front wheel from his car, causing the session to be red flagged and ended prematurely. The German was able to make it through to Q3, but did not set a time.

After investigating the incident following the session, the stewards decided to penalise Hulkenberg, coming to the conclusion that his Force India team had sent the car out in an unsafe condition. The penalty will see the 2015 Le Mans winner drop from P10 to P13 on the grid, and will move the Williams of Felipe Massa and the McLaren‘s of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, up the order.