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Webber hit by grid penalty for gearbox change

Mark Webber's hopes of closing the gap on the championship leader have been hit by news that he will lose five places on the starting grid at Spa, following an out-of-sequence gearbox change.
Red Bull's Mark Webber will have to overcome a five place grid penalty at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa on Sunday, after being handed a penalty for changing his gearbox out-of-sequence after he finished last month's Hungarian Grand Prix.

The official FIA statement regarding Webber's penalty was released on Friday evening, and read: "The above driver [Webber] did finish the last race in Budapest and this gearbox change was before the five consecutive events expired."

Webber previously had to change his gearbox at the German Grand Prix, which means the latest gearbox swap falls far short of making the required lifespan of five consecutive races.

Michael Schumacher and Kamui Kobayashi will also need new gearboxes this weekend, but as they have already run five races with their previous units they will not face a similar starting grid demotion to Webber's.

Webber had also been served a penalty for his previous gearbox swap at Hockenheim. That was also for failing to comply with Article 28.6a of the 2012 Formula One Sporting Regulations.

Although the turnover in gearboxes suggests a potential reliability issue in that part of the 2012 Red Bull car, Webber himself has actually enjoyed a remarkably good record this season and has yet to retire from any of the 11 races.

The penalty means that the best Webber can manage is to start from the third row of the grid for the Belgian Grand Prix, assuming that he sets the fastest time in Saturday's qualifying session.




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31.08.2012- Free Practice 1, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8
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jose - Unregistered

August 31, 2012 9:23 PM

Yep Webber is really screwed..I never liked that rule about gearbox replacement be changed. What it really dose, it kills competition. I was looking for Webber to in the fight among the top five. The guy has suffered some strange negative happenings this season. Maybe Mark should think about getting a larger 'Rabbit Foot' , might help... Badman, Jose

Dude - Unregistered

August 31, 2012 11:20 PM

Knew this would happen again. Nice one dr Marko and red bull. Last three races there has been a little mechanical gremlin that's affected webber. It's all a little bit stinky to me.



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