Hamilton back five places after gearbox problem

Lewis Hamilton, Japanese GP 2010

Lewis Hamilton, Japanese GP 2010 

 © The Cahier Archive

Lewis Hamilton's championship hopes suffered another blow when he was hit by a five place grid penalty for a changed gearbox at Suzuka.

McLaren discovered an issue with Hamilton's 'box in his limited running during the final session of free practice and there were further issues when the car was started in the garage prior to the abandonment of qualifying. Under F1's current rules, gearboxes must do four races and the one in Hamilton's car has completed only three.

"We noticed abnormal gearbox oil pressure on Lewis's car, which we believed we had corrected ahead of this afternoon's qualifying session," McLaren said. "But, when we were preparing the car for qualifying we became aware that the symptoms were worse than we'd originally diagnosed."

The potential for both a mixed grid and unpredictable weather conditions on Sunday, however, mean that Hamilton may be able to serve the penalty relatively cheaply.

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