Sebastian Vettel’s miserable qualifying session has been further compounded with a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

The reigning World Champion qualified tenth for the Spanish Grand Prix, unable to set a time in Q3 after stopping on the circuit with a technical problem on his out-lap.

Investigation by his Red Bull Racing mechanics showed the issue to be gearbox-related, forcing a change of the gearbox unit which had not run the six consecutive races required under this year’s technical regulations.

As a result of the gearbox change, the subsequent five-place grid penalty demotes Vettel to fifteenth on the starting grid.

Vettel joins Jean-Éric Vergne in being hit with a grid drop; Verge also drops five places because his Toro Rosso shed a front wheel during Friday practice.

Image via XPB Images

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Geoff Burke

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