F1: Raikkonen joins champions sent down the grid

F1: Raikkonen joins champions sent down the grid
Ferrari's Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen during the qualifying session at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on August 22, 2015.
PHOTO: AFP

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium - Kimi Raikkonen is set to be given a five-place penalty for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix, joining a clutch of other drivers on a grid that is expected to see three world champions demoted.

The 2007 champion joins Briton Jenson Button and Spaniard Fernando Alonso in taking penalties.

The Finn, who on Wednesday signed a contract to remain at Ferrari in 2016, suffered an engine problem in qualifying as he spluttered to 14th place.

The Italian team, starting their 900th Grand Prix, decided on Sunday morning to change his gearbox for the race. Owing to the penalties handed to others, he will start from 16th place.

Local hero Dutch teenager Max Verstappen was given a 10-place penalty for taking a new Renault power unit for his Toro Rosso car.

The two McLaren Honda drivers, 2009 world champion Briton Jenson Button and two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso, were given a penalty that added up to 105 grid positions for taking new power units.

They will start from the back of the grid with no further in-race penalties after qualifying 17th and 18th.

Frenchman Romain Grosjean was also given a five-place grid penalty for taking a new gearbox for his Lotus.

The total of penalties adds up to 125 grid positions.

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