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Albon and Latifi hit with gearbox penalties

Albon and Latifi hit with gearbox penalties

F1 News

Albon and Latifi hit with gearbox penalties

Albon and Latifi hit with gearbox penalties

Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi have both been handed five-place grid penalties for gearbox changes ahead of the Russian Grand Prix.

Red Bull driver Albon had qualified tenth at the Sochi Autodrom but will now start on the less favourable soft tyres from 15th, promoting Charles Leclerc, Daniil Kvyat, Lance Stroll, George Russell and Sebastian Vettel up a position each for the start.

Following qualifying, Albon had been unable to explain the gap of more than a second that split himself and his front row starting team-mate Max Verstappen.

"It didn’t feel like we had much left in the car and my laps didn’t feel bad so there’s a bit of head scratching going on," said Albon.

"You can tidy up some things here and there to find a couple of tenths maybe but obviously the gap is quite big today so it’s confusing and we have work to do.

As for Latifi, the Canadian had qualified 19th, so drops only one position to lift Kimi Raikkonen off the foot of the order.

Ahead of the official confirmation of the penalty from the FIA, a Williams spokesperson said: "Following a data inspection post-qualifying we found a problem with Nicky's gearbox. We therefore informed the FIA and this will now be changed ahead of the race today."

Gearboxes must be run for six consecutive races and the FIA technical delegate's report confirmed the matter had been referred to the race stewards.

The problem could also go some way to explaining the difficulties Latifi experienced during the Saturday's qualifying session.

"I am disappointed with qualifying," the Canadian reported.

"The session was dictated by the feeling I had on the brakes, and from the warm-up lap I wasn’t getting the bite on the brakes. I locked up and missed my first lap which then puts you on the back foot for your second lap."

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