Hamilton To Receive Bahrain GP Grid Penalty after Gearbox Change


Credit: Wolfgang Wilhelm

Lewis Hamilton will receive a five-place grid penalty for the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix after his Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team were forced to change the gearbox of his W09 Hybrid.

It was revealed by the FIA that the world champion would receive a new gearbox in time for free practice three on Saturday, and as the change takes place before the mandatory six races a gearbox has to last, it triggers a five-place grid penalty for the British driver.

Fellow Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is also having a new gearbox fitted but because of his penalty in Australia after his incident during qualifying, the Finn is allowed a free change this weekend in Bahrain.

Mercedes arrived at the Bahrain International Circuit under pressure after a computer glitch cost Hamilton victory in Melbourne, with the error allowing Scuderia Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel to get ahead of Hamilton during the virtual safety car period, caused when Romain Grosjean stopped on track on the exit of turn two, to secure victory.

Signs from Friday practice suggested that Ferrari could be ahead of Mercedes on pace in Bahrain, making Hamilton’s penalty all the more painful for the defending World Champion.