Hamilton will take 5-place grid penalty for Bahrain GP

15
Photo by: www.kymilman.com/f1

Lewis Hamilton will have his work cut out for him this Sunday for the Bahrain Grand Prix as the 4-time champion faces a 5-place grid penalty for a gearbox change after Friday’s free practice sessions.

His teammate, Valtteri Bottas, also fitted a new gearbox but as he took a penalty in Australia for a gearbox change, he will suffer no penalty. According to Autosport, the inspection, under FIA supervision in Bahrain, discovered a hydraulic leak in Australia had damaged the gearbox.

Mercedes technical director, James Allison, said:

“It wasn’t our best day from a performance point of view,” he said.

“We’ve got more to do overnight and in the session tomorrow to give us a car that will allow us to have a good fight in qualifying and on Sunday.

“The base is OK but we have not yet found the sort of edge that we had in Melbourne.”

It will be a steep curve for Lewis and if Friday’s practice session was anything to go by, Ferrari may be in the pound seats for Sunday’s race. Anything can happen, of course, and with only three engines for the entire season, one could assume Ferrari will face a moment in the season where they too will need an extra gearbox or engine component.

Hat Tip: Autosport

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

15 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

subcritical71

Second race in and I’m already shaking my head at the engine/gearbox penalties… sure the teams all agreed, same as they did for the qualifying fiasco a few years ago, but this is crazy and will only get worse as the season continues. Maybe this is what shakes up the grid this year instead of good racing :(

jakobusvdl

Hi SubC, I’m starting to feel like some sort of F1 contraryian. I really don’t mind /care about the grid penalties ( not even freaked out by the halo). F1 is an engineering challenge, and grid penalties are an attempt to prevent teams from spending their way out of trouble. I think those are both good things about F1. The best team over a season wins, and if a team is unreliable it is disadvantaged. (BTW penalties predate the hybrid era, and when the cars were more reliable, grid penalties were barely a talking point.) A plus for grid penalties,… Read more »

MIE

The requirement for gearboxes to last for five consecutive race weekends was introduced in 2011. It is not new, it was introduced as a cost saving measure.

sunny stivala

Yes it was introduced back in 2011, but when it hits our Brit-boy it is bad and no good.
Those at SKY were coming up with all sorts of conspiracy theories when the HAAS cars both went out with non-secured wheels, this time they were salivating at the mouth at the prospects of number 7 getting a grid drop penalty.

jakobusvdl

Yep, and similarly, engine/power unit related penalties have been around since at least 2004.
In 2004 an engine was expected to last an entire race weekend!! (“madness, it will ruin racing” pundits claimed).

subcritical71

I would agree if the penalty were only levied at the constructor and not the driver. IMO those things which the driver can not control should not penalize said driver, no matter who that driver may be.

sunny stivala

Its a team sports, neither the team nor the driver can be separated when the action starts.

subcritical71

100% agree it’s a team sport. But there are several examples where the team are only penalized (for example by a fine) and the drivers are not, so it wouldn’t be a precedence to only penalize the constructor. It goes the other way too, the driver has been penalized when the team has not.

jakobusvdl

And should the teams also no be penalised when the driver messes up?
I.e should RBR be promoted / given extra points as the car would clearly have been capable of a higher position but Verstappen spun and damaged the car.
Do Mercedes get a 3rd or 4th because if Bottas hadn’t hit the wall in qualifying, it clearly would have managed a top 4 finish?

subcritical71

Jakobusvdl, I don’t see that as being the same. I just think in certain circumstances that the driver should not be penalized for a team problem. Unsafe releases for instance, that should be a constructor penalty. Wreckless driving should be a driver penalty not a team penalty. I’m not saying the penalty needs to be necessarily points either…

jakobusvdl

Interesting. I’d still see trying to separate driver from Team performance as too subjective and artificial.
Also I’m not sure of the point, why do you think it is necessary, and what would it bring to F1?

sunny stivala

As long as 44 is not in front or winning and or it’s not al least an RBR car or driver, it is not good racing. its crazy and will only get worse as the season continues. understandable that.

subcritical71

That would be a sad state of F1 if only one or two teams could win…

jakobusvdl

It’s only sad at the time, when we’re looking back on those periods, they’re the iconic periods of F1 history, and the racing was always awesome. 1988 – McLaren win 15 of 16 GP’s, total dominance, but ‘best season ever’ because it was Senna vs Prost. 1994 & 1995 – Williams and Bennetton win all but 5 of 32 races, but two of ‘the best seasons ever’ because of the Schumacher vs Hill rivalry. Lots and lots of other examples, so put on your ‘hindsight’ goggles and enjoy these Mercedes domination years as ‘the best seasons ever’ because in a… Read more »

jakobusvdl

I wonder if Mercedes will be able to set the car up so that it doesn’t lose as much performance when following other cars. I’d imagine they’d need to do that if Hamilton is going to make up places in the race, otherwise he’ll be just as stuck as Bottas was in Australia.