First, it was Mark Webber who had to start 5 placed lower on the grid due to changing his gearbox after qualifying. The next day, during the Sunday action, Vettel was instructed from the pits to drive carefully – somewhere in the final part of the race – as his car was experiencing a gearbox problem.
Midway through the race, when it was clear that every driver in front of Vettel – who was positioned in 4th place at the time, behind Hamilton, Alonso and Button – was racing to the finish line, the German driver asked his race engineer via radio how the team wanted him to attack Button when the reigning champion was obviously quicker than him.
It was then that his team realized Vettel's car had an issue, which they immediately communicated to him. Later on, with only a few laps to go and a handful of seconds behind 3rd placed Alonso, Vettel asked his team about the fastest time of the race.
“Don't even think about it!” was the sudden response from his race engineer, who once again reminded Vettel that he's running with a faulty gearbox and that he needs to keep his position until the chequered flag. The German listened to his team and revealed to the media that he struggled with a car issue for half of race.
“I had a gearbox problem from around halfway through the race, which meant I had to slow down,” said Vettel, who insisted however that the RB6 still looks strong in comparison with the other 2010 challengers, despite the lack of wins in the last 2 races.
“There is no reason to panic from our side. We have a very good car and we're looking ahead to Valencia,” added the 22-year old German.