Lewis Hamilton will receive a five place grid penalty for the Chinese Grand Prix, after Mercedes made the decision to change the Brit’s gearbox ahead of the race weekend.
It was discovered following the Bahrain Grand Prix, that Hamilton had sustained damage to the W07, gained during his first lap coming together with the Williams of Valtteri Bottas at the Sakhir track. Due to the strong overtaking nature of the Shanghai circuit, the Mercedes team decided it would be of more benefit to give the current World champion a whole new gearbox rather than attempt to repair the old one.
A spokesperson for the team advised: “This is the best circuit to do so in the first six race cycle as overtaking is easier here compared to the coming tracks, so the overall impact of the grid penalty is judged to be less here in Shanghai.”
With the longest straight on the calendar, it should be no problem for Hamilton to make his way through the pack from wherever he qualifies from on Saturday. Only 58% of pole sitters have taken the win here in China, another fact in the Brit’s favour, as he heads for the front.
Hamilton is one of only two drivers to have taken victory more than once in Shanghai, notching up four wins with Fernando Alonso being the other. A track the 31-year-old clearly is at one with more than most, there should be plenty of overtaking opportunities for the Brit to take advantage of, and with a hat-trick of wins possible for Hamilton here this weekend, the Mercedes man will be on a mission to get that further win under his belt.