MONACO (AP) French driver Romain Grosjean was handed a five-place grid penalty at the Monaco Grand Prix because of an unscheduled gearbox change.
Race regulations stipulate that drivers have to complete six consecutive races before they are allowed to change gearboxes. Monaco is the sixth race of the season.
Grosjean had to change his gearbox after encountering problems late in the Spanish GP two weeks ago, motorsport’s governing body FIA said Saturday.
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The grid penalty will hit Grosjean particularly hard at Monaco, where it is notoriously difficult to overtake due to the tight, sinewy nature of the small track.
Grosjean qualified in 11th place, with the penalty relegating him to 16th. However, he will start in 15th because Spanish driver Carlos Sainz. Jr – who had qualified in eighth – will start from the pit lane for failing to stop for compulsory weighing.
”The car is looking good for the race, even if I have it all to do with my penalty,” Grosjean said.