Sebastian Vettel looks set to avoid a grid penalty for a new gearbox in Japan this weekend, after analysis at Ferrari showed his current unit was not damaged in his post-race crash with Lance Stroll at Malaysia last weekend.
Vettel had feared a five-place grid drop for this weekend’s race at Suzuka, after he was involved in a hefty impact with Stroll on the slow down lap of the Malaysian GP.
The impact with the Williams was quite severe and there were doubts that the gearbox could have escaped undamaged. Any change would have resulted in a costly penalty, – with no grounds for Ferrari to be granted any exemption.
Vettel’s damage following impact with Stroll
Ferrari flew Vettel’s gearbox back to its Maranello factory this week for a closer examination and team sources have indicated that it has now been given the all-clear.
Kimi Raikkonen is expecting to avoid taking Formula 1 engine penalties for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, despite suffering power unit trouble in Malaysia.
Raikkonen qualified second for the Sepang race, having missed out on pole by just 0.045 seconds, but failed to take the start when Ferrari encountered engine trouble on the way to the grid.
Raikkonen being pushed off the grid in Sepang
Ferrari suspects it could be a recurrence of the same problem that prevented teammate Sebastian Vettel from setting a timed lap in Malaysian GP qualifying, although analysis is still being examined.
Raikkonen said he was “not really” concerned about the problems Ferrari encountered on both sides of the garage in Malaysia.
He added: “It’s quite odd from us, we didn’t expect it. We didn’t have any so far and then we had two in two days. We have to find the reason.”