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Ricciardo hit by gearbox penalty

14 October 2012

Daniel Ricciardo's disappointing qualifying result took another downward turn when it emerged that the Australian would be forced to take a five-place penalty that drops him to 21st on the Korean GP grid.

The Toro Rosso driver failed to make it to the end of Q2 on Saturday after grinding to a halt out on the circuit, and his time at that point was only good enough for the outside of row eight, despite glimpses of better having filtered through in free practice. Although the reason for his exit from qualifying was subsequently pinpointed as driveshaft failure, the team was forced to break the seal on his gearbox as part of its investigation, automatically triggering the penalty.

Ricciardo's misfortune not only benefits Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne, who qualified one spot behind the Australian, but also promotes Williams' Bruno Senna, Caterham team-mates Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen and the Marussia of Timo Glock by one place over their original qualifying positions. The Australian now lines up on the inside of row eleven, with just the HRTs of Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan, and the penalised Charles Pic - who was forced to take a ninth engine for Korea - behind him.


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