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Felipe Massa

Massa handed five place grid penalty

Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa’s wretched Belgian Grand Prix weekend continued on Saturday when he was handed a five-place grid penalty for a yellow-flag offence in final practice.

The Brazilian Williams driver was also given three penalty points on his licence for failing to slow for double-waved flags.

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His weekend began miserably on Friday when he crashed on his first lap in opening practice and damaged his car, ruling him out of any further action for the day.

Massa was back in action only after recovering from a bout of vertigo at last month’s Hungarian Grand Prix where he dropped out of qualifying and the race after complaining he felt dizzy and sick.

Massa’s penalty will not be as harmful to his prospect as those expected to be confirmed for the Sauber drivers, German Pascal Wehrlein and Swede Marcus Ericsson, who have both had unscheduled gearbox changes.

Home hope Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne is also due to be given a massive 65-place grid penalty after overnight changes of engine and gearbox following an earlier pre-race introduction of an unscheduled power unit.