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Vettel incurs grid penalty

NEWS STORY
29/04/2016

Sebastian Vettel has been handed a 5-place grid penalty after his team changed his gearbox.

The German, who was side-lined for much of FP2 following an electric problem which left him stranded on track, was subsequently informed that he would need a new gearbox the team discovering that it had been damaged in the first corner clash with Kimi Raikkonen in China.

The team monitored the unit throughout both sessions and eventually opted to replace it, a move particularly relevant given that Ferrari has spent more of its development tokens on an upgraded engine that will be available to both its drivers this weekend.

Deeming that Vettel finished the last race in Shanghai and this gearbox change was before the six consecutive events expired - a breach of Article 23.6a of the Sporting Regulations - the German was handed the penalty.

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton, who incurred a similar penalty in China, had to replace his previous gearbox during the last event for a spare and this was before the six consecutive events expired. Consequently, he may use a new gearbox at this event and the six consecutive events without penalty.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Tweek, 30/04/2016 16:47

"That's a good idea. Penalizing the constructor for vehicle issues and penalizing the pilot for driving offenses. "

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2. Posted by yakker, 30/04/2016 9:30

"This penalising the driver for technical failures, or unsafe releases, loss of wheels etc is just stupid. It is not the drivers fault, a better system would be to fine the teams constructor points but leave the drivers points intact. In this case bumping Vettel back 5 places is not right, let him keep his place and subtract points from the constructors. The points lost for each error can be decided before the season, teams will then know a gearbox change will cost say 5 points, unsafe release 2 points etc."

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