Lewis Hamilton will not be taking a five-place grid penalty in Korea next weekend, his team boss Martin Whitmarsh has confirmed.
The McLaren driver moved five places down the Suzuka grid due to an unscheduled gearbox change before qualifying, and he then finished the Japanese race without third gear that further dented his fading championship hopes.
It is believed a dog-ring failed in Hamilton’s replaced gearbox, but Whitmarsh said in Japan that he was “confident” it could be fixed without incurring another five-place penalty for Korea.
But he also told reporters at Suzuka that the second issue would not be a problem for Korea, despite the new gearbox potentially not lasting the mandatory four races.
“We’ve taken the penalty for this weekend so we have a free gearbox change for the next race,” said Whitmarsh.
On Friday in a team statement, the Briton moved to clarify the issue.
“Lewis will not face a second successive five-place grid penalty” in Korea, said Whitmarsh.
“The gearbox regulations were framed to ensure teams weren’t penalised twice for the same gearbox issue, so Lewis will go into the weekend without risk of further penalty,” he added.
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