Nico Rosberg is crossing everything for his glitchy gearbox to run smoothly throughout the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.
The current leader of the driver standings had issues with his race gearbox during the closing stages of the British Grand Prix. Rosberg managed to fix the issue with a little help from the pit-wall during the race, but that led to a 10-second penalty that saw his Mercedes slip down the podium steps to 3rd.
— Nico Rosberg (@nico_rosberg) July 20, 2016
Rosberg has to use the same gearbox this weekend if he’s to avoid a 5-place grid penalty after Qualifying. We’ve already seen this type of gearbox penalty feature over race weekends, most notably on Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari. Usually, Rosberg’s Mercedes W07 wouldn’t have issues working its way up the order on a more conventional track, but the Hungaroring is notoriously difficult when it comes to overtaking.
Furthermore, if an issue does arise during the race, Rosberg will need to remember the sequence that solves the issue by himself, otherwise help from the pit-wall will jeopardize the ridiculous radio sanctions that make up part of this year’s regulations.
A Mercedes spokesman sheepishly said,
“We will be running the race gearbox [in Friday practice] to make sure it is okay and are optimistic that it will be,”
– Mercedes Spokesman
Even if the gearbox fails in Practice, the German will face the penalty that will make his race much more difficult, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. It would be better for the championship if the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers start in the top four for the race.
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) July 21, 2016