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Raikkonen picks up grid penalty, Button starts last

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Formula One - Japanese Grand Prix - Suzuka Circuit, Japan- 9/10/16. Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo of Australia, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel of Germany, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen of Finland, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton of Britain fight for the position at the start of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Formula One - Japanese Grand Prix - Suzuka Circuit, Japan- 9/10/16. Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo of Australia, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel of Germany, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen of Finland, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton of Britain fight for the position at the start of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

SUZUKA, Japan (Reuters) - Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen will start Sunday's Formula One Japanese Grand Prix from eighth on the grid after collecting a five-place penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.

The Finn had been set to start third after qualifying behind the dominant Mercedes pair of pole-sitter Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton and had hoped to cap a strong weekend for his team with a podium finish.

Instead, the 2007 world champion will now line up alongside Romain Grosjean's Haas on the fourth row of the grid.

The rules require a driver to use a single gearbox for six straight races.

Raikkonen's penalty allows Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo to lock out the second row, boosting their hopes of challenging for victory a week after the duo scored the team's first one-two finish since 2013 in Malaysia.

Raikkonen's Ferrari team mate Sebastian Vettel, already set to start seventh having collected a grid penalty for shoving Rosberg into a spin at the start of the last race at Sepang, will move up a place to sixth.

Elsewhere, McLaren's Jenson Button will drop from 17th to the back of the 22-driver grid after picking up a 35-place penalty for fitting his car with a completely fresh power unit.

The Japanese Grand Prix starts at 0500 GMT.

(Reporting by Abhishek Takle; Editing by John O'Brien)


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