F1 Sochi Grand Prix 2020: Red Bull’s Alex Albon has been given the grid penalty for changing his gearbox for today’s Russian GP.

Alexander Albon’s weekend has gone from bad to worse after being awarded a five-place grid penalty for the Russian GP at Sochi today. The penalty has been imposed by the FIA for changing the gearbox on his Red Bull. Albon will now start 15th on the grid, after finishing P10 in yesterday’s qualifying session.

FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer released a directive informing that Albon and Williams driver Nicholas Latifi have requested for a new gearbox. Latifi will drop to 20th from 19th, allowing Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen to move up a grid. This is what Albon’s official directive read for the F1 Sochi Grand Prix 2020:

“The gearbox has been replaced with the approval of the FIA technical delegate following a written request from the team concerned (requested on 26 September 2020 at 19:25hrs), this being in accordance with Article 34.2 of the 2020 Formula 1 Sporting Regulations.”

“The gearbox change was before the six consecutive Events expired. Therefore this is not in compliance with Article 23.5a of the 2020 Formula 1 Sporting Regulations and I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.”

Albon had a terrible Q3 compared to teammate Max Verstappen

Albon finished 10th fastest in qualifying yesterday, compared to teammate Verstappen’s impressive P2. Shockingly,  Albon was 1.141 seconds slower off team-mate Max Verstappen.

This means Charles Leclerc, Daniil Kvyat, Lance Stroll, George Russell and Sebastian Vettel will move up a place. This will put more pressure on Albon, with calls to Red Bull to replace him with Pierre Gasly or Sergio Perez next season.

Read more: Sergio Perez: Which F1 team will the Mexican drive for in the 2021 Formula 1 season?


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