Shanghai - Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton will be hit with a five-place
grid penalty for Sunday's Formula One Chinese Grand Prix due to a
gearbox change, his Mercedes team confirmed on Thursday.
"This weekend is going to be tough," Hamilton said on photo sharing site
Instagram alongside a picture of fans welcoming him at the Shanghai
"I will start with a five-place grid penalty due to a gearbox change but
because of you guys I feel energised, motivated, and confident that we
can regain ground lost."
The news was later confirmed by his Mercedes team, who said on Twitter
they had thought Shanghai was the best place to take the penalty after
the gear box was damaged in Bahrain and needed to be changed.
A driver must use a single gearbox for six consecutive events and the
penalty means the highest Hamilton can start Sunday's race is from sixth
on the grid.
That puts Hamilton on the back foot heading into a race in which he
hopes to score his first win of the season and end team-mate Nico
Rosberg's run of five-successive victories.
Hamilton trails Rosberg, winner of the opening two races of the season, by 17 points in the standings.
He last won at the US Grand Prix in October, when he also clinched his third world championship.