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Bottas hit with gearbox penalty at Silverstone

SILVERSTONE -- Valtteri Bottas will receive a five-place grid penalty at the British Grand Prix after Mercedes was forced to make an unscheduled gearbox change on his car.

Under the regulations, a driver's gearbox is required to last six consecutive races and any break in the cycle results in a five-place grid penalty. As a result, the highest he can hope to qualify on Saturday is sixth (assuming other drivers ahead of him are not penalised moving him forward) presenting a tough challenge in Sunday's race. Bottas was fastest in both practice sessions on Friday.

Valtteri Bottas.
It is Mercedes' second gearbox failure in as many races after Bottas' teammate Lewis Hamilton suffered the same issue at the last round and was dropped to eighth on the grid. The team says the issue is now "understood" and "contained" but they were unable to coax Bottas' gearbox to the end of its life cycle.

The gearbox rule is in the regulations as a way to save costs by limiting the amount of expensive drivetrain components fitted to a car over the course of the year. The rule only applies to the Saturday and Sunday of a race weekend, meaning the gearbox fitted to Bottas' car during Friday practice would not have been the one that had the problem.

Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/20045635/bottas-hit-gearbox-penalty-silverstone

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