Hamilton takes five place grid drop after gearbox change

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Lewis Hamilton has taken a five place grid penalty after changing his gearbox ahead of today’s German Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver crashed hard in the first part of qualifying yesterday, seriously damaging his car and leaving the team with a big repair job following the session. Thankfully, he escaped unharmed from the incident after suffering a front-right brake failure.

Hamilton was clearly disappointed to suffer yet another setback in qualifying, having not started inside the top five since the Canadian Grand Prix at the beginning of June.

He was due to start the race from 15th position, but he will now drop five places further back thanks to this penalty.

Mercedes confirmed that the change had been made on Twitter, saying: “We can confirm that Lewis Hamilton’s gearbox will be changed for the race owing to accident damage incurred yesterday. 5 place penalty.

“The guys are working on the car now to repair everything for the race. It’s going to be a busy morning!”

The Briton had expected to start from the pit lane, but he will most likely start from 20th position barring any last-minute dramas at Mercedes or changes for the other drivers.

You can watch the German Grand Prix live on CNBC and Live Extra from 7:30am ET.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”