Japanese Grand Prix 2012: Jenson Button to get five-place grid penalty
Japanese Grand Prix 2012: Jenson Button will have to take a five-place grid penalty for Sunday's race due to gearbox change
Jenson Button will be forced to take a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix due to a gearbox change.
McLaren say they have discovered the same problem that forced Lewis Hamilton to retire from the Singapore Grand Prix in Button’s car, meaning both will start with new gearboxes this weekend.
Hamilton is entitled to a free change after his retirement but his team-mate must take a penalty for Sunday’s race.
“Jenson’s gearbox had the same problem as Lewis’s gearbox during the Singapore Grand Prix, and subsequent investigation has revealed a terminal failure,” McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe told Autosport.
“Therefore both cars must start the Japanese Grand Prix with new gearboxes, which means that Jenson will receive a five-place penalty.
“Of course, this is a great disappointment for Jenson and the team. On the positive side, we have understood and completely resolved the issue, allowing both drivers to compete with confidence for podium positions.”
The penalty is a significant blow to Button’s hopes of clawing back the 75-point gap between himself and championship leader Fernando Alonso.