Schumacher escapes grid penalty after gearbox issue at Spa

Michael Schumacher can breathe easy, having worried after last week’s Belgian grand prix that he would have to take a five-place grid drop at Monza.

Knowing that unscheduled gearbox changes carry the penalty for the next race, the great German finished at Spa with a broken sixth gear. But Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport reports that the gearbox has been fixed, even if there is no guarantee the problem will not return.

However, Mercedes believes there is a good chance Schumacher’s woes are now over, because the main damage was to the actual sixth gear cog — which can be changed without penalty.

“I think we can save the transmission,” team boss Ross Brawn is quoted as saying.

He thinks sixth was damaged at Spa because the drivers are often negotiating corners with high G-forces with that gear engaged. The problem should not recur at Monza, because sixth gear on the famous Italian layout is mainly engaged whilst the car is on the straights.


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