Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of ending Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg’s five-race winning streak have suffered a major setback ahead of this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

The Englishman has been handed a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race in Shanghai after mechanics were forced to change his car’s gearbox thanks to damage it sustained at the preceding Bahrain Grand Prix.

The eight-speed gearbox was given a customary inspection after he finished the Bahrain Grand Prix in third place, where the damage assessment was made. Rather than risk a potential failure at the next race in China, the team opted for an early replacement.

Hamilton will therefore drop five grid places from wherever he qualifies on Saturday in accordance with Article 23.6(a) of the 2016 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.

A four-time winner at the Shanghai International Circuit, Hamilton was both disappointed and philosophical about his latest setback.

“Naturally when you arrive in Shanghai and find out you’re already going to be starting five places behind wherever I qualify is a kick in the goonies, but you just take it [the penalty],” he said on Thursday.

“Challenge is another opportunity to arise; rather than looking at the glass half empty, look at it half full.”

Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.