Manor Racing driver Pascal Wehrlein will serve a five-place grid penalty at the Japanese Grand Prix after his mechanics fitted a new gearbox to his car ahead of Saturday’s final practice session.

As his previous gearbox had not completed six consecutive Grands Prix required under the FIA sporting regulations, the German youngster will serve an automatic grid penalty.

The grid drop will certainly send him to the back of the grid for Sunday’s 53-lap race at the Suzuka Circuit. It is in effect a relatively notional penalty for the Mercedes protégé, who was 21st- and 20th-fastest across Friday’s respective practice sessions.

Image via LAT

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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.