Spanish Grand Prix – Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi has been given a five place grid penalty as he has taken a new gearbox before regulations allow.
The Italian driver qualified in P18 on Saturday, as both Alfa Romeo drivers struggled for pace in the heat.
Having been eliminated in Q1, Alfa elected to fit his car with a new gearbox. This is before the end of six consecutive events with the same gearbox, as required by the regulations. As a result, this triggers an automatic five place grid penalty.
However, with other penalties being applied to other drivers, the drop should be relatively inconsequential. Nico Hulkenberg has been issued with orders to start from the pitlane after driving with two different specification front wings during qualifying, after crashing early in Q1.
A gearbox penalty for George Russell, who qualified P20, means that Giovinazzi is likely to start from P19.
The Italian driver was disappointed with his qualifying session, having made a mistake during Q1: “I have been struggling with my brakes all weekend and it was no different in qualifying.”
“It’s quite disappointing to go out in Q1, I did a mistake in Turn 10, locked up the fronts and that probably cost me a place in Q2. The race will be challenging because overtaking here is not easy. We will continue working on making improvements and see what we can do in the race.”