Ericsson Set for Spa-Francorchamps Gearbox Penalty

Marcus Ericsson is set for a grid penalty following a gearbox change this weekend in Belgium - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Marcus Ericsson will start the Belgian Grand Prix weekend on the back foot after his Sauber F1 Team were forced to change the gearbox on his C36-Ferrari.

The Swede, who has yet to score a point in 2017 and has not broken into the top ten since the 2015 Italian Grand Prix, will face a five-place grid penalty as a result of the gearbox change.

Sauber found damage to the internals of the gearbox after the previous round of the season at the Hungaroring, and as a result of their findings, the Hinwil-based squad has decided to change it as a precaution to try and ensure reliability on Ericsson’s car.

Formula 1 regulations mandate that gearboxes must last six consecutive race weekends, with the only exceptions coming when a driver either fails to start or finish the previous race, but neither of these apply to Ericsson, which means he will likely start at the back of the grid this weekend.

Unless he gets further penalties during the weekend, Ericsson is likely to be nineteenth on the grid at worst, with the McLaren Honda F1 Team’s Stoffel Vandoorne already set to take a thirty-five place hit for an engine change on his MCL32.