Formula 1 - Brawn wants gearbox rules rethink after Hamilton penalty

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn believes Formula 1 teams should re-examine the gearbox penalty rules after Lewis Hamilton was handed a grid drop in Bahrain because of circumstances beyond his control.

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Ross Brawn and Lewis Hamilton (Imago)

Hamilton was moved back five places after he needed a gearbox change following damage caused by a debris-induced tyre failure.

After hearing private frustrations from his driver about the situation - because he was being moved back through no fault of his own - Brawn thinks that it could be worth F1 having a fresh discussion about the situation.

When asked if there was cause to reconsider penalties in the event of drivers needing new gearboxes when they have done nothing wrong, Brawn said: "I think Lewis would agree with you - he made the very same point to me about external influences giving a penalty.

"I think the difficulty we have in the future is really in the marginal cases – which in this case it wasn't – but was it something exaggerated by the driver? Was it partially occurred by the driver? So then we get in to these long debates.

"I think it is certainly worthy of looking at, as it is frustrating to get a penalty when there has been an outside influence, and it is annoying.

"Luckily it doesn't happen too often, but if it happens at a critical time of the championship then it could be doubly frustrating. However, it is probably worth looking at again."

Hamilton himself said that there was little point in getting too frustrated at the situation, even though it heavily impacted on his performance.

"It doesn't matter, the rules are the rules," he said. "I just have to suck it up and deal with it.

"The car didn't feel the same as it did in P3 - P3 was a big improvement. In P1 and P2 we had some problems with the car and fixed it overnight. But we got to qualifying and it felt like it did on Friday.

"Whatever it was it doesn't matter, Nico did a great job in qualifying. I wasn't able to match his pace. Tomorrow's going to be a tough race from ninth place but I'll do what I can."

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