The technical issue stems back to last weekend's Melbourne season opener, where an off-track excursion led to slight structural damage. As a result, it has been decided that to avoid risking a retirement, his gearbox will be switched prematurely.
"A bit more work for Kimi's crew this evening," the team explained via its official Twitter feed. "An issue with Kimi's gearbox so we're changing it now."
In accordance with the FIA's stringent sporting regulations, gearboxes must last for a total of five race weekends before being changed without a punishment.