Hamilton facing grid penalty in Bahrain for gearbox change

Hamilton facing grid penalty in Bahrain for gearbox change

Hamilton facing grid penalty in Bahrain for gearbox change

Lewis Hamilton will start this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix no higher than P6 after the Mercedes driver was hit with a five-spot grid penalty following a gearbox change.

Vettel won in Melbourne, profiting from an error by Mercedes to finish ahead of Hamilton, who was leading from pole. The first of his six consecutive races with the new gearbox will start in Bahrain.

Speaking on Friday night after the second practice session but before his penalty was confirmed by Mercedes, Hamilton already predicted a tough fight with their biggest rivals this weekend.

"It's been a normal Friday, we've got through all our programme", he said. Mercedes are keen to hold on to Hamilton for the foreseeable future and the Briton is also certain he wants to remain in the sport with the team that has brought him three of his four F1 Drivers' championships.

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

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Raikkonen was later investigated by race stewards for an unsafe auto release following a pitstop. He escaped a grid penalty and Ferrari was instead fined 5,000 euros ($6,100).

Ferrari were one-two at the top of the end of day practice timesheets in Bahrain yesterday, with 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen ahead of Vettel.

Verstappen's vehicle lost power and stopped on the track in the first session. The Dutch driver spun early into the season-opening Australian GP two weeks ago, finishing in sixth place.

"It was not ideal to miss so much track time". "So we can already see from the Friday running you have more grip in every single lap, the auto balance is changing, so we need to make estimations for the next sessions, the next runs and it's going to be the same thing tomorrow". "I'll try to improve the feeling and balance to put myself in the best position possible".

Vettel won in Melbourne by profiting from an error by Mercedes to finish ahead of Hamilton, who was leading from pole before his team misjudged Vettel's entrance into the pits after a virtual safety vehicle was deployed.

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