F1

Five-place drop for Kovalainen while Hamilton set to dominate

After pulling out of qualifying on Saturday, Heikki Kovalainen's woes deepened when it emerged he will drop even further down the grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. While his teammate Lewis Hamilton looks set to dominate the race from ...

After pulling out of qualifying on Saturday, Heikki Kovalainen's woes deepened when it emerged he will drop even further down the grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

While his teammate Lewis Hamilton looks set to dominate the race from pole position, the Finn suffered a gearbox failure during the 'Q2' segment.

The McLaren transmission cannot be repaired and therefore must be replaced for the race, incurring a five-place grid demotion for an unscheduled change.

Kovalainen, 28, therefore drops from 13th to 18th.

"I already had minor problems with the gearbox yesterday when it jumped out of gear, so it's frustrating when you have a car you can easily take into Q3," he said.

The FIA published the starting weights of the cars in the hours after qualifying, showing that Hamilton's dominance was not influenced by a particularly light fuel load.

The Briton is carrying marginally less fuel than the Red Bulls, but the Brawns are actually slightly lighter than Hamilton.

"Both of us (Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber) are a little bit surprised by the gap," Red Bull's Vettel said, referring to Hamilton's Q3 advantage of more than 6 tenths.

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