Lewis Hamilton gets F1 grid penalty for Bahrain Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton is set for a five-place grid penalty at the Bahrain Grand Prix as the result of a gearbox change

Lewis Hamilton gets F1 grid penalty for Bahrain Grand Prix

The FIA revealed on Friday night that Hamilton's car would be fitted with a new gearbox from Saturday's final free practice session.

With this change coming before the mandatory six events are up, it means Hamilton will be moved down the order for the start on Sunday.

Team-mate Valtteri Bottas is also having a new gearbox fitted, but as he already had a gearbox change penalty in Australia following his qualifying crash he is allowed a free change for this weekend's race.

A Mercedes insider confirmed that Hamilton's gearbox had suffered a hydraulic leak during the race in Australia.

It was only when it was inspected in the Bahrain paddock this week, under FIA supervision, that bearing damage was discovered, and the team has decided that it would have been too risky to use the gearbox again.

Meanwhile Bottas's change is a routine one that every team is allowed to make after it has replaced a damaged gearbox at the previous event.

Hamilton had come into the Bahrain weekend eager to make up for defeat at the Australian Grand Prix, when Sebastian Vettel was able to beat him thanks to a well-timed pitstop under virtual safety car conditions.

But after a Friday when it appeared that Ferrari had the edge, news of the gearbox penalty will leave the world champion facing an even bigger challenge to not lose more ground in the standings.

Mercedes technical director James Allison admitted after practice the team was not as comfortable with its performance as it had been at the Melbourne season opener.

"It wasn't our best day from a performance point of view," he said.

"We've got more to do overnight and in the session tomorrow to give us a car that will allow us to have a good fight in qualifying and on Sunday.

"The base is OK but we have not yet found the sort of edge that we had in Melbourne."

shares
comments
Formula 1: Red Bull a lot better than it looked in FP2 - Ricciardo

Previous article

Formula 1: Red Bull a lot better than it looked in FP2 - Ricciardo

Next article

How Mercedes gains from its unique F1 rear suspension

How Mercedes gains from its unique F1 rear suspension
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Plus

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

Formula 1
Apr 22, 2021
How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight Plus

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021