Esteban Gutiérrez and Valtteri Bottas will both lose five grid place positions for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix after each driver’s cars were forced to have components of their gearboxes replaced.
Gutiérrez reported a suspected gearbox issue during today’s final practice session and failed to complete a timed lap, although he was at least able to crawl back to the pits for his mechanics to work on his Sauber C33 while the session continued. The team also elected to replace his car’s control electronic heat/kinetic unit within the Ferrari power unit.
Bottas (pictured above), meanwhile, had his Williams confined to its garage after his initial installation laps, where his engineers also discovered a problem within the gearbox unit.
Gearboxes must last at least six consecutive Grands Prix under this year’s technical regulations.
Three of the field’s Renault-powered drivers – the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado and both Caterhams of Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson – underwent replacements of their electronic DC converters. None will incur a penalty, as five units of this particular engine component can be used over the course of the season under Article 28.4a of the Sporting Regulations.
Both Marussia Ferraris of Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton underwent replacements of their control electronic OBI components in their cars, and again, they will not incur a penalty for the same reason.
Image via Sutton Images
Maldonado also had the control electronic power supply unit replaced, while Kobayashi also had his car’s energy store unit replaced.