McLaren Aim to Avoid Grid Penalty for Hamilton in Korea

Lewis Hamilton barely finished the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, after his gearbox' third gear failed midway through the race. As unfortunate as that was, considering that his team had just replaced his gearbox prior to the qualifying session on Saturday, this may further influence his slim title chances in the future.

As fitting a new gearbox to his MP4-25 would enforce another 5-place grid penalty for the upcoming grand prix, Korea, McLaren will now push hard to solve the problem with the existing 'box in order to avoid that. And Hamilton's manager Martin Whitmarsh admitted that it's very important that his team gets it right, as reliability will be a key issue in the remaining 3 rounds of the season.

We're confident it can be resolved for Korea without incurring a five-place grid penalty. For the final three races, we've got to make sure we have 100 per cent reliability,” said Whitmarsh, while also insisting that neither of his two drivers is out of the title race just yet.

We'll keep on pushing and developing this car. There's no reason why we can't be fighting for the championship in Abu Dhabi,” added the McLaren principal.

Hamilton's 5th place on Sunday dropped him even more in the overall classification points-wise. He lost 8 points to F1 leader Mark Webber and now sits more than a race win behind the Red Bull racer (28 points). And, although happy to finish the race at Suzuka (considering the problems he faced), Ham admitted his championship chances continue to fade away.

I didn't think the car would make it – it was making a lot of strange noises,” said Ham after the race. “The championship doesn't look great at the moment,” added the 25-year old Brit.
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