Sebastian Vettel appears set to escape a grid penalty for the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix after his gearbox passed inspection at Scuderia Ferrari’s factory following his post-race collision with Lance Stroll in Malaysia.
Vettel and Ferrari had initially feared that the gearbox had suffered damage and would need to be replaced following the bizarre crash with Stroll on the slow-down lap of the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix.
The collision was substantial enough to rip off the left rear wheel of Vettel’s Ferrari and send it crashing on top of the engine cover. With the drive shaft torn from the car also, it was suspected that the Ferrari’s gearbox would have suffered enough damage to warrant replacement.
However, as reported by motorsport.com, following inspection by Ferrari staff at their Maranello factory, the gearbox has been given the all-clear to be used at Suzuka. It will therefore be fitted to Vettel’s car for Saturday morning’s practice session, allowing the team one hour to confirm the factory’s findings.
Vettel fought back through the field in Malaysia after starting last due to a blown turbo in qualifying to finish fourth. He is now thirty-four points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton with five races remaining.