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Bottas to take five-place gearbox penalty in Japan

06 Oct 2017

Valtteri Bottas is set to drop five places on the grid for the start of Sunday’s 2017 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix after an unscheduled gearbox change on his Mercedes.

With his previous box having not lasted the required six consecutive events, F1 regulations dictate that Bottas will be penalised at Suzuka, where he finished 10th for Williams last season.

The Finn was fifth fastest in Friday’s opening practice, and did not set a lap time in the washed-out second session.

Team mate Lewis Hamilton, Haas’s Kevin Magnussen and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz – who crashed heavily in FP1 on Friday – have also received new gearboxes, but all without penalty.

Notably, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has not changed gearbox for Japan. There had been fears the German would have to do so following his post-race collision with Williams’ Lance Stroll last weekend in Malaysia.