Grid penalty for Hamilton following gearbox change

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Lewis Hamilton has received a five place grid penalty after changing his gearbox following the final practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver suffered a car failure at the end of the session which caused damage to his suspension and left-rear of the car, which has forced the team into making the gearbox change.

Mercedes confirmed to Autosport that the change was due to this damage, and Hamilton joins Mark Webber and Esteban Gutierrez who have penalties from last weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

Webber incurred a three place penalty for his incident with Jean-Eric Vergne, whilst Gutierrez will drop five places on the grid after causing an accident involving Force India’s Adrian Sutil.

Hamilton will be aiming to qualify as high as possible to minimize the impact of this penalty, and he could still start in the top ten after running well in final practice.

MORE: Watch qualifying and the Bahrain Grand Prix online or on your phone or tablet

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Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.