Sebastian Vettel will start tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix from fifteenth after incurring a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox after this afternoon’s Qualifying session.
The German began to suffer issues in the pitlane as he prepared to take his first flying lap during Q3 and lost second gear. He attempted to put a lap in without second gear but his gearbox suffered a complete failure as he approached turn 1, causing him to drive slowly through the quick right-left corner and impeding Hamilton. He was not penalised for holding him up, however, as his RB10 parked in the run-off area prompted a red flag which ruined the flying laps of both Hamilton and Rosberg.
His car returned to the paddock where an inspection of the car called for the gearbox to be changed. As a result, he was handed a five-place grid penalty. The issue comes after Vettel recorded a total of four laps during Friday practice, leaving him with a very limited running ahead of tomorrow’s Grand Prix.
I was getting more into the rhythm with each lap after missing yesterday’s sessions,” Vettel said after Qualifying. “It was quite close between the cars after the Mercedes and I think I could have had a go for P3 today, but we didn’t get that far. I’m of course quite disappointed.”
Mercedes unsurprisingly locked-out the front row today with Daniel Ricciardo the best of the rest in the other Red Bull. Jean-Eric Vergne was also handed a grid-penalty, his one a ten-place drop for driving with a loose wheel during FP2.
You can read my Qualifying report here.
Image courtesy Getty Images/Red Bull Racing.