By Adam Tate, Managing Editor
Lewis Hamilton will take a 5 spot grid penalty for this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix for Mercedes changing the gearbox in his car.
It was damaged after contact from William’s Valtteri Bottas in the wild start to the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The team released the following statement via Twitter and shed some light on their decision to change the box ahead of China.
The gearbox of Lewis Hamilton’s F1 W07 Hybrid sustained damage in Bahrain which required a physical inspection for full assessment. Having done so, the decision has been taken to change the gearbox rather than carry any risk moving forwards. It’ll be a five place grid penalty. Of the next four tracks in the normal cycle, Shanghai is the best place to make the change and take the resulting grid penalty. The Shanghai International Circuit has good overtaking opportunities, so plenty of chance for Lewis Hamilton to get the hammer down! – Mercedes
After one of the worst starts to a title defense in recent history, Hamilton’s season has just gone from bad to worse. Possibly helping him will be a welcomed return to the 2015 qualifying system, so the grid should reflect the true speed of each team, therefore, expect Hamilton to start Sunday’s race no worse than 7th or 8th.