Verstappen pulls out of qualifying following gearbox change!


As Red Bull frantically worked to repair Max Verstappen's heavily damaged RB14, the Dutchman's crew discovered an issue with the car's gearbox that has warranted a change.

Verstappen hit the inside barrier at the exit of the Swimming Pool complex earlier in free practice, a mishap which then put the car into outside guard rail, ripping off the RB14's front right corner.

The Red Bull team pulled out all the stops in an attempt to ready the car for qualifying but resorted to pulling its driver from the session, unable to be ready in time for Q1.

The regulations stipulate that gearboxes are required to complete six consecutive races before a change, or face the imposition of a five-spot grid penalty.

Verstappen's component change coupled with his absence from qualifying means he will start from the back of the grid at the very least.

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