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Starting grid penalties for Hulkenberg and Pic

7 July 2012

Two drivers have been handed five-place starting grid penalties for tomorrow's race at Silverstone, after needing gearbox changes.

Force India found a problem with Nico Hulkenberg's gearbox last used at Valencia two weeks ago, and the team have opted to replace the unit rather than risk it failing during the race.

Over at Marissua, Charles Pic triggered a red flag during the Saturday morning free practice 3 session. The car was returned to pit lane and Pic then stopped out on track a second time later on when he tried another installation lap. The team tracked the problem down to the gearbox and opted to change the unit before the start of qualifying.

With so many technical problems interfering with his running and with Q1 proving to be a lottery of variable weather conditions, Pic failed to set a time within 107 per cent of the fastest time of the session and so will need to call on the mercy of the race stewards to be allowed to start at all. Assuming that he does, Pic will start last.

There were also reports that three teams had broken the overnight pit lane curfew, and that personnel from McLaren, Marussia and Caterham had been working overnight at the circuit between 1am and 7am.

However, the rules enable teams to break curfew four times during the season, and for all teams this was a first breach of the approved hours in 2012. That means no action against any of the teams is pending.


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