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Hamilton to start 20th after gearbox penalty 28 Mar 2009

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/24.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, 28 March 2009 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, 28 March 2009

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton will start his first Grand Prix as reigning world champion from the back of the grid following a gearbox change in Melbourne. Hamilton, who had qualified in 15th, will now start Sunday’s Australian race from 20th following the resulting five-place grid penalty.

The British driver was unable to cover a single lap in Q2 after fourth gear on his MP4-24 broke during the opening stage of qualifying. And following the session's conclusion his engineers decided to replace the entire gearbox as a precautionary measure.

So with Hamilton 20th on the grid and his team mate Heikki Kovalainen starting from 14th, McLaren will have their work cut out if they are to repeat their ’08 Melbourne victory this weekend.