Formula 1: Gearbox penalty for Hamilton

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Lewis Hamilton will start the German GP from no higher than 20th place after Mercedes were forced to change the gearbox in his Mercedes after it was damaged in the Briton’s heavy qualifying crash.
The championship-challenging Hamilton suffered another Saturday to forget at Hockenheim as a front-right brake disc failure pitched him into the barriers in Q1 to leave him with the prospect of starting the 67-lap race from at least 15th place on the grid – 14 spots behind title rival Nico Rosberg, who qualified on pole.
However, it soon emerged the Briton’s weekend was likely to get even worse before it got better with Mercedes planning to change the brake material on his W05 in parc ferme back to Carbone Industrie from Brembo ahead of the race, something likely to incur a pitlane start.
Although the stewards are yet to announced that will be the case, Mercedes have confirmed that Hamilton has anyway inccured a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change after the unit was damaged in his 130mph shunt. The demotion means that as things stand the 29-year-old will start on the penultimate row of the grid alongside Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi.Speaking on Saturday night, Hamilton, who admitted he was “sore” after the accident, conceded his hopes of winning the German GP were already over from wherever he started in the lower reaches of the field. 
“Whenever the lights go out, I’m always thinking of finishing the race first, that’s always my target. But I’d have to be smoking something to think I could really get to Nico,” he said.
 
“He’s on pole position, he’s got no-one in front of him, so by the third or fourth lap he’ll be several seconds up the road and as I’m starting last, I could be a good 30 or 40 seconds behind.
“I’ve now got to do damage limitation again, which I seem to be doing quite often. I don’t know where I’m starting – if I’m starting 16th or starting in the pitlane. We’ll find out.”
Hamilton therefore faces the prospect of seeing his points deficit to Rosberg widen significantly once more, just two weeks after his British GP victory trimmed the gap to just four points.
The former World Champion last started a race from as low as 20th place when he was sent to the back of the grid at the 2012 Spanish GP for fuel irregularities.

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