Raikkonen hit with grid penalty in Mexico after gearbox change

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Kimi Raikkonen will start the Mexican Grand Prix from 18th position after receiving a grid penalty for changing his gearbox ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session.

Raikkonen was forced to park his car at the side of the track during FP3 on Saturday morning after a small fire broke out on his power unit.

Ferrari was forced to switch back to an old engine and change the gearbox on Raikkonen’s car as a result, prompting the stewards to hand the Finn a five-place grid penalty for the race on Sunday.

“The gearbox of car 7 has been changed before six consecutive events have expired,” a brief statement from the stewards confirmed.

Raikkonen qualified 15th for the race on Saturday after a brake issue forced him to pit halfway through Q2 without having set a competitive time.

Despite being given a five-place grid drop, the Finn will start 18th as both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have heftier penalties, leaving them on the back row.

“This morning we had a problem with the car in P3, and we had to change the engine and the gearbox,” Raikkonen said. “It was a very tight call to put everything back together, but the guys did an excellent job to make the car ready for Q1 in that small lapse of time available.

“However, there was not enough time and not everything was 100 per cent. I still had a small issue with brakes. Actually, they were working, but then they locked up on one lap.

“Anyway, with all the penalties we are getting tomorrow, our best option was to do well enough to make it to Q2 and not really do anything after that. We did three fast laps so that we can check later that everything is okay with the car and try to make a good run out of it.”