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Bird takes grid penalty as Virgin switches gearboxes

Sam Bird has been handed a 10-place grid penalty as he takes a new gearbox for the Mexico City ePrix.

He and team-mate Alex Lynn have both suffered gearbox problems throughout the season, which the team believe is related to a product devation.

Both Lynn and Bird will take fresh, ‘fixed’ gearboxes for the Mexico ePrix. As both drivers have already used their free joker change, the switch means a 10-place grid penalty for the fifth race of the season.

“We had a production deviation – the specification of the part didn’t change from last year, but we changed it for milage reasons,” DS Performance technical director Thomas Chevaucher told Autosport.

“We had the wrong batch of materials used to produce that part, which was the origin of the problem we’ve had from the beginning of the season.

“We changed one gearbox after Hong Kong, one after Marrakesh, then we changed two gearboxes now – so all four gearboxes have been changed in the garage.

“We’re now hoping we won’t have that problem again, we should be fine.”

Chevaucher added there was no problem with the design of the gearbox, just the material the component was made from.



Bethonie Waring

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