McLaren woes continue due to lightweight gearbox

The troubles plaguing McLaren continue as Italian race stewards have announced that the team are under investigation over the new gearbox they used during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The stewards are investigating McLaren over allegations that their new lightweight gearbox has not yet been crash tested and have yet to decide what McLaren s punishment will be, if anything.

The new gearbox did not need an altered crash structure from the one already approved by the FIA, however it is understood that McLaren s actions may have breached article 16.1.2 of Formula 1 s technical regulations which state that, “Any significant modification introduced into any of the structures tested shall require that part to pass a further test.”

The gearbox issue was only discovered after the Turkish Grand Prix when McLaren passed a crash test with the new gearbox in place although McLaren used the old gearbox for the actual race in Turkey.

If found guilty, it is unclear what penalties McLaren will receive, if any. If the past is anything to go by for example the fuel issue involving Williams and Benetton at the 1995 Brazilian Grand Prix the team will lose any constructors points won in the race. However, McLaren failed to score any constructors points during the Hungarian Grand Prix after the qualifying saga caused by their two drivers.

McLaren are confident that they will be found innocent of any wrongdoing by the FIA. “McLaren would like to emphasis that we have acted entirely openly, in good faith and in complete compliance with the FIA rules are we are confident the stewards will come to the same finding,” a statement from McLaren read.

“On Thursday of the Hungarian Grand Prix, McLaren voluntarily made the FIA aware that the team would be using a new reduced weight gearbox casing. Before qualifying the FIA asked McLaren to supply after the race weekend some documentation concerning the precise changes that had been made.

“This was supplied before the Turkish Grand Prix, but subsequently McLaren was advised by the FIA that in their opinion the revised gearbox needed to undergo a repeat crash test. As a result the team chose not to use the lightweight gearbox at the Turkish Grand Prix.

“On 30th August the McLaren lightweight gearbox passed both a push off test and an impact crash test without any problem under the supervision of the FIA. Consequently the team will use the lightweight gearbox at the Italian Grand Prix.”