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Daniel Ricciardo handed grid penalty after gearbox change

SILVERSTONE -- Daniel Ricciardo has joined the growing list of drivers with a grid penalty ahead of the British Grand Prix after Red Bull was forced to change his gearbox.

The change was confirmed ahead of FP3, meaning Ricciardo will drop five places from wherever he qualifies on Saturday afternoon. Under Formula One's regulations, gearboxes must last six consecutive events a driver (with exceptions for non-starters and retirements for technical reasons). Ricciardo has received his second gearbox penalty of the season with the latest switch.

Daniel Ricciardo. Dan Mullan/Getty Images
It comes a day after Mercedes confirmed a penalty for Valtteri Bottas for a gearbox change, meaning two of the three drivers who stood on the Austria podium will drop from their positions. Fernando Alonso also looks likely to start from the back of the grid with a host of changes made to the Honda power unit in his car.

Grid penalties are a growing point of contention in Formula One, with former driver Mark Webber recently saying they should be scrapped for everything other than mistakes made by drivers. He argued gearbox and engine changes which fall outside of the regulations should be met with a penalty for the constructor of some sort.

The news is a blow for Red Bull, with Ricciardo predicting Red Bull could take the fight to Ferrari in qualifying on Saturday. Coming into the British Grand Prix, Ricciardo is on a run of five consecutive podiums which have moved him above Kimi Raikkonen to fourth in the drivers' championship.

Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/20068252/daniel-ricciardo-handed-grid-penalty-gearbox-change

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