McLaren under investigation for new gearbox 

Written by David on September 06th, 2007 at 1:46 pmLast Update: September 06th, 2007 at 7:48 pm

F1 GearboxVodafone McLaren Mercedes Team is under investigation by the race stewards at the Italian Grand Prix over their running of a new lightweight gearbox in Hungary that had not been crash tested. Sources from the paddock have confirmed that discussions are currently taking place at Monza to decide whether anything needs to be done about McLaren’s actions in Hungary.It is understood that the Woking team ran their new lightweight gearbox at the race at Hungaroring without a new crash test taking place prior to the event.

Although the new gearbox did not require an altered crash structure from the one already approved by the FIA to be put in place, it is understood McLaren’s actions could have breached article 16.1.2 of Formula One’s technical regulations. The rules state: “Any significant modification introduced into any of the structures tested shall require that part to pass a further test.”

The issue of the gearbox only came to light after the Turkish Grand Prix, when McLaren passed a crash test with the new version, with the team having reverted to their older unit at the Istanbul Park event. Sources have made it clear that McLaren did not deliberately try and hide the fact that they had raced with the lightweight gearbox in Hungary. It is not clear whether the matter will result in action being taken. And should McLaren be found to be in breach of the rules, it is hard to predict what punishment could be handed out.

Previous precedents, like the fuel controversy involving the Williams and Benetton teams at the 1995 Brazilian Grand Prix, resulted in the team losing their constructors’ championship points. But the Hungary matter is complicated by the fact that McLaren have already lost their constructors’ championship points from that event because of the qualifying controversy between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

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