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Vettel set to avoid Suzuka penalty, as Ferrari salvage gearbox

Omnisport logoOmnisport 04/10/2017 Matthew Scott
SebastianVettel - cropped: Sebastian Vettel hitches a ride from Pascal Wehrlein after a cool-down lap crash © Provided by Omnisport Sebastian Vettel hitches a ride from Pascal Wehrlein after a cool-down lap crash

Ferrari have confirmed that Sebastian Vettel's gearbox is race-ready for the Japanese Grand Prix, sating fears over a potential grid penalty.

Vettel's rear-end was left a mess after a bizarre shunt with Lance Stroll on the cool-down lap after the Malaysia Grand Prix, where the German cut through the field from the back of the grid to finish fourth.

Hamilton and Vettel have form at Suzukuka (Perform)


After Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen's first-lap wipe-out in Singapore, the Scuderia ran into more issues at Sepang.

Engine trouble affected both drivers, preventing Vettel from partaking in qualifying and ending Raikkonen's race before it began, despite the Finn having qualified second.

Despite Vettel's stunning recovery limiting the damage and keeping Lewis Hamilton within 34 points in the drivers' standings, president Sergio Marchionne was typically belligerent after the race, saying he would implement "some organisational changes" to avoid a repeat of technical troubles.

And Ferrari's mechanics can at least breathe a sigh of relief knowing they do not need to unpack a fresh gearbox in Suzuka.

With an accompanying thumbs-up emoji, the team posted on Twitter: "The gearbox #Seb5 used in #MalaysiaGP is still available."

Vettel has four wins to his name in Suzuka, although they all came at Red Bull, with Mercedes having dominated in the hybrid era. However, Ferrari's better balance, and the increased performance at Red Bull, for whom Max Verstappen won in Malaysia, means Hamilton cannot rest on his laurels.

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