Michael Schumacher has opted to make the most of his lowly grid position by fitting a new gearbox to his Mercedes for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The German was a surprise casualty of the last-minute scramble in opening qualifying at Sakhir, unable to defend 17th position with a defective DRS system and powerless to do anything as Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen pulled a better time out of the bag after the chequered flag had fallen. Even though his position would have improved by one after Williams' Pastor Maldonado took his own similar penalty, Schumacher recognised that starting so far back was the ideal opportunity to install a new 'box, rather than possibly being forced to do so when better placed in another race.

While team-mate Nico Rosberg starts fifth on the grid for round four, Schumacher will now drop to 22nd, ahead only of Timo Glock and Narain Karthikeyan.