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Russell gets grid penalty for gearbox change after FP3 shunt

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Williams’ largely unhappy 2019 season took another hit in Free Practice 3 for the Spanish Grand Prix when George Russell backed his FW42 into Turn 4 barriers with just minutes of the session left on the clock.

The resulting damage to the car meant some frantic work for the Williams mechanics, who were forced to fit the car with a new gearbox. That entails a five-place grid drop for Russell – although realistically, that’s unlikely to hurt the Englishman too much considering that Williams once again appear to have the slowest car in Barcelona.

Still, it was yet another unfortunate twist in the team’s 2019 saga, particularly considering that Russell had felt Williams had been a step closer to their rivals after “a relatively positive Friday” yesterday.

It comes on the back of Russell's scary crash in FP1 in Baku, when he required a new chassis after running over a drain cover, while Russell's team mate Robert Kubica added to Williams' pain in Q1 in Azerbaijan after crashing at the circuit's tight Turn 8.

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