Ryan Wood  |    |   0  |  3 October 2017

Sebastian Vettel set to escape Japanese GP gearbox penalty

Sebastian Vettel looks set to avoid a gearbox penalty at the Japanese Grand Prix after his Ferrari team confirmed his Malaysia unit to be "OK" following his cool-down lap crash with Lance Stroll.

Vettel had raced through the field from last on the grid to finish fourth, but after crossing the finish line to return to the pits, he and Stroll made contact at low speed. The impact however caused serious damage to the rear of the German's car.

It was suspected that Vettel's gearbox would require changing for the Japanese GP, which would have resulted in a five-place grid penalty, but following an inspection back at Ferrari's Maranello base, the team believe it has escaped damage and can be used again.

Vettel will use the gearbox during FP1, only then will the team be 100 per cent certain that it's safe to use for qualifying and the race.

The four-time champion is now 34 points adrift of championship leader Lewis Hamilton after the Mercedes driver finished second in Malaysia.

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