Force India hopes hit by Ocon Brazilian GP grid penalty

The change is understood to be precautionary and based on data observed during the previous race in Mexico. It will trigger a five-place grid drop because Ocon finished the Mexican GP, in 11th, and his gearbox has not completed six races.

Ocon was 10th-fastest at the end of Friday practice at Interlagos, where his team is trying to score enough points to overhaul McLaren for sixth in the constructors’ championship. 

McLaren holds a 15-point lead after Ocon’s team-mate Sergio Perez retired from the Mexican GP, a double-whammy for Force India as it elevated McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne into a higher points-paying position. 

Ocon is not the only driver to have a gearbox change in Brazil, but the others are all penalty-free.

Lewis Hamilton, Lance Stroll and Kevin Magnussen move onto a fresh ’box after completing six GPs with the previous unit. 

Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz Jr retired in Mexico so are able to take a new gearbox without sanction. Ricciardo will take a five-place penalty, however, for taking a new turbo.