Apr.12 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Lewis Hamilton’s perfect qualifying score in 2012 is over.

It has emerged that the highest the McLaren driver can start Sunday’s Chinese grand prix is sixth, due a five-place grid penalty.

“Just spoken to Lewis Hamilton,” The Times correspondent Kevin Eason wrote on Twitter, “who discovered 30 minutes ago that (he) has been penalised five grid places for (a) gearbox change.”

Briton Hamilton won last year’s Shanghai race.

“I’ll be heading to China looking to win,” he said this week, “but it’s just as important to pick up some good points if, for whatever reason, a win isn’t on the cards.”