No concerns over Button's gearbox

Autosport

Jenson Button has no risk of a gearbox penalty in this weekend's Korean Grand Prix - even if a problem that emerged in Japan forces another change.

Button complained over the team radio during the Suzuka race about a gearbox problem, although the issue seemed to clear itself up in the closing stages.

Having already been handed a five-place grid penalty in Japan because of a change there, the matter was not ideal – but McLaren has no cause for concern.

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said initial analysis of the gearbox problem pointed towards a sensor problem rather than a total failure.

"At the first stop you may have noticed a brake fire on the rear right, so it was really, really hot," he explained.

"That was defaulting some of the sensors at the rear wheels so, after that stop, we started to have that problem.

"I think they cooled down a bit after a few laps and then unfortunately it seemed to come back – and they were not the words that you wanted to hear on the radio.

"After the second stop, I thought we were about to creep into the same area but he wasn't in traffic at the second stop and it managed to cool down.

"It was a problem with the smooth shifting of the gears but probably only as a consequence of the sensors being overheated on the right rear hub."

The team is set to conduct further analysis of the gearbox before Korea, but even if a new unit is needed there is no possibility of Button facing a penalty.

The current regulations state that if a driver uses a replacement gearbox at a race – as Button did in Japan – then the team may elect to begin its five-race sequence at the following event.

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