Romain Grosjean’s final race with the Lotus F1 Team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has encountered another bump in the road. The Frenchman was given a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change ahead of Sunday evening’s race at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Contesting his final race for the Enstone squad ahead of his move to the all-new Haas F1 Team next season, Grosjean suffered an hydraulics leak in his gearbox during the second phase of qualifying on Saturday, stopping his Mercedes-powered E23 Hybrid on the circuit and failing to set a time.
“That was very frustrating, but it’s the end of the season and I think my gearbox has been around the world about three times already,” said Grosjean on Saturday after provisionally qualifying fifteenth-fastest.
As a result of needing a new gearbox, Grosjean will be handed a penalty that means he will start from the back row of the grid.
Meanwhile, Manor F1 Team driver Roberto Merhi will start the race from the pit lane after his team elected to breach parc fermé conditions and perform a number of set-up changes to his car.
Image via XPB Images