It was announced shortly after FP3 that Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg will get a five-place grid penalty for the Austrian Grand Prix as the result of a gearbox change required after his practice crash.
Rosberg damaged his car after spinning into the barriers during a qualifying simulation run in third practice. The accident was caused by a left rear suspension failure.
The team explained that the suspension failed at full throttle after coming under what it claimed was ‘an unusually high load’. The Mercedes team is working flat out to try to get Rosberg’s car repaired for qualifying, but it has already decided that he will have a new gearbox fitted.
That will drop him down the order, even if Mercedes is able to get him out in time for the start of the session.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who was fastest in final free practice, is also facing a five-place grid drop as the result of a gearbox change needed on his car.