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Hamilton set for China grid penalty 12 Apr 2012

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 25 March 2012

Lewis Hamilton’s prospects for this weekend’s 2012 Formula 1 UBS Chinese Grand Prix have taken an early hit with news that McLaren are to change the gearbox on his car, thus incurring a five-place grid penalty.

Hamilton, who revealed the transmission issue in the Shanghai paddock on Thursday, has already endured a frustrating start to his season. The 2008 champion qualified on pole for both of the first two rounds, but has yet to finish higher than third.

The China penalty means Hamilton will now start Sunday’s race no higher than sixth. He lies second in the driver standings, five points behind leader Fernando Alonso, and five ahead of third-placed team mate Jenson Button.

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