Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel.

What Ferrari expect to happen to Sebastian Vettel at Japanese Grand Prix

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Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix saw Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel collide with Lance Stroll of Williams.

The crash sparked fears that the gearbox in the German’s car had been damaged and would need replacing before the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend.

The replacement of the gearbox would mean that Vettel would be handed a five-place grid penalty ahead of the race in Susuka.

However, Ferrari are confident that they will be able to re-use the gearbox during qualifying at the weekend after receiving the green light following investigations, according to BBC Sport.

Nothing is set in stone as of yet as Scuderia will make their final decision on the matter following the practice on Saturday.

To avoid a penalty, the gearbox must complete the final five races without Vettel retiring from the track.

Ferrari will be hoping Saturday’s practice runs smoothly with no issues, as they aim to catch Mercedes in the standings.

Vettel’s title aspirations have dipped of late, with the German finding himself 34 points behind Lewis Hamilton with only five races remaining.

However, Mercedes are currently going through a rough patch and Ferrari remain confident that they can capitalise on their recent slump.

Vettel isn’t worried by the situation, but is backing the team to get on top of the problems that they have picked up in recent weeks.

F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Qualifying

"I think we have our technical issues under control but this weekend we didn't," he said via Sky Sports.

"It's a shame both of us had compromised weekends. I don't know if it was the same issue but for sure it's not ideal if you retire one car on [Saturday] and one on [Sunday].

"There's something that we need to understand. So far we had a pretty good record this year for reliability, for sure you are always on the edge, so I'm not too worried but we need to get on top of the problems that we have."

Ferrari are going through a decade-long championship drought and will be hoping to close the gap on Mercedes come the end of this weekend, and a grid penalty for Vettel could prove to be the final nail in the coffin.

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