Date: 12th April 2012 at 11:07am
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There will be a new man sat in pole position for the start of the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend.

That’s because Lewis Hamilton, who started both the Australian and Malaysian Grand Prix from the front of the grid, will be handed a five place grid penalty in China.

The McLaren driver confirmed earlier this morning that a fault with his gearbox had been discovered over the past 48 hours and the unit will have to be changed.

‘We have a gearbox issue and we will change it on Saturday morning so I will get a five-place penalty, but hopefully we will be quick enough to still move forward.’ The 2008 Formula One World Champion told Sky Sports.

‘I don’t like starting at the back and not going anywhere, but if you have a quick car, which we do, then we still have a fighting chance from wherever I have to start. I’ll try to minimise the damage by trying to qualify as high as possible,’

Hamilton started the Chinese Grand Prix from third in 2011 and went on to win the race, while Fernando Alonso started the Malaysian Grand Prix from eighth a few weeks ago and went on to win the rain affected race.

Rain is in fact expected to play its part again this weekend. It has been raining all week at the Shanghai International Circuit, with showers expected over the Saturday and Sunday.

The temperature is also expected to give the teams a chill dropping from 24c on Tuesday to a possible 16c when Practice begins on Friday. This could have an affect on tyres, with Ferrari being one team who could gain.

The Ferrari team have struggled with over heating their tyres, during testing and in Australia, but in the cool temperatures of Malaysia this acted as a bonus for Fernando Alonso as he was able to get his tyres to an optimum temperature quicker than his rivals.

Could Ferrari spring another surprise in China?