Verstappen set to avoid gearbox change and grid penalty - The Race
Formula 1

Verstappen set to avoid gearbox change and grid penalty

Dec 5 2021
By Scott Mitchell

Formula 1 championship leader Max Verstappen is understood to have avoided a gearbox change following his qualifying crash in Saudi Arabia.

Verstappen missed out on pole position in Jeddah after hitting the wall at the final corner on a lap that was poised to take him fastest. 

The hit was big enough to prompt concern it could have damaged the gearbox in his Red Bull. 

Earlier this year, Monaco poleman Charles Leclerc failed to start the race after his end-of-qualifying crash ultimately triggered a terminal mechanical problem that was only discovered on the way to the grid on Sunday.

Red Bull was prepared to change Verstappen’s gearbox if there was any threat of an issue, given he has an eight-point championship lead and a retirement would be far more damaging.

But that is understood to have been avoided as Verstappen’s gearbox is considered OK.

He is set to start the race from third on the grid, two places behind title rival Lewis Hamilton.

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