LEWIS Hamilton will not be starting Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix from pole position. The 27-year old Brit confirmed to Sky Sports News this morning that his McLaren team have to change his gearbox following an issue was discovered by the team after the race in Malaysia three weeks ago.
Hamilton revealed to Sky Sports F1 reporter Natalie Pinkham that the team will change the gearbox on Saturday morning. It means he will have a fresh gearbox for the race on Sunday, but at a cost of starting no higher than sixth for the race. Current regulations in Formula One mean a driver has to have a gearbox that lasts for four successive races as part of bduget restrictions. A free gearbox without grid penalty is only allowed if a driver failed to finish the last race, so that could apply to both Kamui Kobayashi and Romain Grosjean here as they recoreded DNF’s in Sepang.
Hamilton had been on pole position for the first two races of 2012 but has only managed to convert them into two podium finishes so far. With a significant upgrade brought by McLaren to Shanghai this weekend, he will be hoping for one of his famous charges to the top step of the rostrum on Sunday.