SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) — Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has been relegated five grid places for changing his gear box before qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday.

The team announced the penalty on Twitter. The setback is a further headache for the 28-year-old Briton. He has struggled with the hot and sandy conditions in practice, finishing no higher than 10th in the first two sessions and then damaging his rear left tire at the end of the third in which he finished fifth.

Hamilton has had a surprisingly successful start in his first season at Mercedes after joining from McLaren. He has finished on the podium in the past two races and also won pole position at the Chinese Grand Prix.

 

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