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Hulkenberg braced for Hungary grid penalty

28 Jul 2017

Nico Hulkenberg is poised to fall five places on the Hungaroring grid after being penalised for a gearbox change.

While seven drivers in total have new gearboxes for Hungary, Hulkenberg's does not conform with the regulations given he finished the last race at Silverstone, and has not done six races since his last change. As a result, a five-place grid penalty is inevitable.

The Renault driver ended Friday's running in Hungary as 'best of the rest' in seventh, fractionally ahead of McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz.

An official report from FIA Formula One Technical Delegate Jo Baeur read: "[Hulkenberg] did finish the last race in Silverstone and this gearbox change was before the six consecutive Events expired. As this is not in compliance with Article 23.5a of the 2017 Formula One Sporting Regulations, I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration. The team informed the technical delegate about the gearbox change on Wednesday, 19th July 2017, at 12:11 hours."

Hulkenberg, whose last technical-related grid drop came more than three years ago in the 2014 Russian Grand Prix, has qualified inside the top 13 in every race so far this season.

Alongside the German, Alonso and Sainz also have new gearboxes for Hungary - as do Romain Grosjean, Jolyon Palmer, Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo.