Vettel set to escape gearbox penalty in Japan


Sebastian Vettel looks set to avoid a five-place grid penalty at Suzuka, with Sky Italia reporting that his gearbox has passed checks back at Ferrari base.

Several conspiracy theories have emerged from Vettel's strange post-race crash with William's Lance Stroll, leaving the rear of his car severely damaged.

There was a strong expectation that the German would need a new gearbox fitted for the five remaining races of the season, but Sky Italia are reporting from Maranello 'that it should be able to be saved' and it will be used in Saturday's FP3 session before a final decision is made.

Not having to change the gearbox and taking fresh power unit elements at no extra cost in Malaysia will renew Ferrari's confidence as they attempt to haul back Vettel's 34-point deficit to World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

After two consecutive race weekends leaving Ferrari almost down and out, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has announced several organisational changes to try and counter the issues.