Nico Rosberg will take a five-place grid penalty after damaging his gearbox in a crash during Practice 3 earlier this morning.
The Mercedes driver lost control of his car when setting a lap time on the Ultra Soft tyre. Coming out of Turn 2, Rosberg hit the kerb which sent vibrations through the rear suspension structure, forcing it to break and send him straight into the barriers.
That damaged the rear of his car significantly and as it turns out the gearbox assembly, which will now have to be changed in this race against time to get his car ready for qualifying later today.
Kerbs to blame?
Some have been swift to point towards the new kerbs that have been put in place on some of the exits and entry of corners, which have already broken suspensions and front wings during the weekend.
Notably Max Verstappen suffered a front suspension failure coming out of Turn 5 yesterday during the first practice session.
It’s too early at this stage to judge whether the kerbs are to blame for Rosberg’s off, however what is clear is how quick the Mercedes looked in the initial parts of the lap despite Sebastian Vettel posting the quickest time from team mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Rosberg however will join Vettel this weekend and will not start from the front row of the grid, making it the first non-Mercedes lockout since Singapore last year.
Photo Credit: XPB