Hulkenberg and Magnussen receive five-place grid drops in Russia

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Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen are both set to receive a five-place grid penalty for this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix after gearbox changes ahead of qualifying later today.

Hulkenberg pulled over at the side of the track to retire from last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix on the last lap at Suzuka, but following the red flag shown for Jules Bianchi’s accident, the results were backdated by one lap. This meant that Hulkenberg had technically finished the race.

In his technical delegate’s report, FIA representative Jo Bauer confirmed that Force India’s decision to change the gearbox on Hulkenberg’s car did not comply with the regulations, warranting a five-place grid drop.

“[Hulkenberg] did finish the last race in Suzuka and this gearbox change was before the six consecutive events expired,” a statement reads. “Therefore, this is not in compliance with Article 28.6a of the 2014 Formula 1 Sporting Regulations.”

As a result, the German driver will drop five places on the grid from his qualifying position later today in Sochi.

Kevin Magnussen will also drop five spots as he requires a gearbox change following his stoppage in FP3, leaving McLraren with a small repair job ahead of qualifying. Pastor Maldonado also has to serve a further five places of his 10-place grid penalty from Japan.

The FIA has also confirmed that the pit lane speed limit has been reduced from 80km/h to 60km/h to make the entry to the pits safer.

You can watch qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7am ET.