April 14, 2016 – Nico Rosberg’s bid to extend his winning streak to six races this weekend has got an early boost.

Mercedes confirmed early on Thursday that reigning champion Lewis Hamilton’s silver car has undergone a gearbox change after Bahrain, where he was punted into a half-spin by Valtteri Bottas at the first corner.

“The gearbox sustained damage in Bahrain which required a physical inspection for full assessment,” the team revealed.

“Having done so, the decision has been taken to change the gearbox rather than carry any risk moving forwards. To clarify, it will be a five-place grid penalty for Lewis Hamilton.

“If there’s anyone who can fight back, though, it’s him,” Mercedes added on Twitter.

It is a major blow for Hamilton, who had hoped Shanghai would be the place for his first win of the season.

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