HOCKENHEIM, Germany (AP) — Lewis Hamilton has taken a five-place grid penalty for Sunday's German Grand Prix after Mercedes opted to change the gearbox on his car.

The Briton, who trails teammate Nico Rosberg by just four points in the drivers' championship, drops from 15th to 20th on the Hockenhim grid.

His lowly initial grid spot was a result of a brake disc failure on his Mercedes during qualifying which caused him to spin off the track and into a heavy collision with the barriers, preventing him taking part in the second session.

Rosberg starts the race from pole position and is ideally placed to extend his championship lead.