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Russell facing grid penalty

NEWS STORY
06/11/2021

George Russell faces a 5-place grid drop in Mexico on Sunday after taking on a new gearbox.

The Briton suffered an issue early in FP2 which left him sidelined for the remainder of the session without posting a time. This followed an issue in the earlier session which saw his team fit his race gearbox.

"Unusually, we encountered several gearbox issues today and have consequently had to take a new gearbox which will give us a grid penalty," said the Briton, who started from the back of the Austin grid following an engine change. "It's not ideal, but it's Sunday where the points are awarded. FP1 on the other hand was a strong session for us.

"The car was feeling good, I found a decent rhythm and we showed some strong race pace. That race pace is going to be critical as the high altitude makes it really difficult for the cooling, for the brakes and for the power unit. If we're on top of that then I think we can be on the front foot for the race."

"We found an issue with George's gearbox at the end of FP1 and so we opted to fit his race box for FP2," said Dave Robson, the team's Head of Vehicle Performance. "Unfortunately, this suffered with a different failure during the first run of FP2.

"We reduced the running on Nicholas's car whilst we understood the problem and confirmed that he wouldn't suffer the same issue. George will now take a new gearbox, which will leave him with a grid penalty on Sunday. This is frustrating, but at least it happened today rather than during the race."

The news comes as Yuki Tsunoda and Lance Stroll also face grid penalties after taking on new power units, both drivers now starting Sunday's race from the back of the grid.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Mexico City, here.

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