Penalty sends Hulkenberg down the grid

Nico Hulkenberg
© XPB 

Nico Hulkenberg's Hungarian GP weekend is off to a difficult start following an unscheduled gearbox change which will lead to a five-spot drop on Sunday's grid.

The German's Renault was seventh in Friday's second free practice session, ending best of the rest behind the Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull drivers.

FIA Formula One Technical Delegate Jo Bauer issued the following report:

"[Hulkenberg] did finish the last race in Silverstone and this gearbox change was before the six consecutive Events expired.

As this is not in compliance with Article 23.5a of the 2017 Formula One Sporting Regulations, I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.

"The team informed the technical delegate about the gearbox change on Wednesday, 19th July 2017, at 12:11 hours."

Indeed, the regulations stipulate that a driver's gearbox must last six consecutive races, with any break in the cycle entailing a five-place grid penalty.

On the Hungaroring's twisty track where overtaking is very difficult, the Hulk's penalty will likely put him in the thick of the mid-field, and with a big challenge on his hands.

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