Sauber's Ericsson gets Belgian GP grid penalty for gearbox change

Marcus Ericsson will take a five-place Formula 1 grid penalty into Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix after Sauber changed his car's gearbox

Sauber's Ericsson gets Belgian GP grid penalty for gearbox change

Autosport has learned Sauber found damage to the internals after the previous race in Hungary, forcing the team into the change as a precaution.

Rules dictate gearboxes must last six consecutive events, with a driver incurring a five-place grid drop for an earlier change.

The only exceptions to these rules are for non-starters and non-finishers (for technical reasons) of the previous race, neither of which apply in Ericsson's case.

Ericsson's early penalty comes on a weekend where Sauber has introduced a new floor for both the Swede and team-mate Pascal Wehrlein.

This completes the update package, the first part of which was introduced last time out in Hungary and included new bodywork and a new cooling system.

Ericsson is nevertheless expecting a challenging weekend at Spa, particularly because of the deficit incurred by running a year-old engine.

"We have the new floor to complete the package we had in Budapest so that should be good," he said.

"Here and Monza will be difficult because they are very power sensitive tracks and that's going to be difficult for us.

"But then I think there will be some tracks like Singapore where we should have better chances if can get these updates working.

"We need to maximise what we have and even if we are struggling we need to make sure we make the most of it and then if things would happen we can be there and take the opportunities.

"It's getting a bit difficult to keep up with the other guys with the old power unit.

"In the race as well we are clipping quite a lot more than our competitors on the straights."

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