Webber handed grid penalty for gearbox change at Spa

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing. Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Thursday 30 August 2012.Sep.1 (Reuters) Formula One title contender Mark Webber will have a five-place penalty on the starting grid for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix after an unscheduled gearbox change, his Red Bull team has confirmed.

The Australian is second overall in the championship and 40 points behind Ferrari‘s Fernando Alonso, with nine races remaining.

The penalty will be a boost for his Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel, the reigning champion who won from pole at Spa last year and is third overall and two points behind Webber, as well as Alonso.

Webber has suffered no retirements this season but has endured reliability problems whereas double champion Alonso could chalk up a record-equalling 24th successive points finish on Sunday.

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