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Leclerc set for gearbox penalty

30 Jun 2018

He started the last race in France from a career-best P8 on the grid. Unfortunately, Charles Leclerc is unlikely to repeat that feat in Austria this weekend after Sauber were forced to change his gearbox following final practice.

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Leclerc, who was 10th fastest in FP3 earlier today, ground to a halt at the very end of the session with a technical issue, leading to the Swiss team replacing his car’s transmission ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying session in Spielberg.

Since the gearbox had not completed the required six events, Leclerc can now expect to receive a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race at the Red Bull Ring.

Sauber do hope to get the change complete in time for Leclerc to compete in qualifying, but the penalty will inevitably compromise his chance of scoring points tomorrow - something he has achieved at four of the last five Grands Prix.