Mercedes ‘optimistic’ Rosberg will avoid gearbox penalty

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Mercedes is “optimistic” that Nico Rosberg will avoid a gearbox penalty at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix despite hitting trouble two weeks ago at Silverstone.

Rosberg lost seventh gear during the closing stages of the British Grand Prix, prompting Mercedes to give him instructions over the radio to prevent a terminal failure.

Although the messages were deemed to have been in breach of the sporting regulations, a 10-second time penalty meant that Rosberg only dropped to third, retaining the lead of the drivers’ championship in the process.

Gearboxes are required to last six grands prix under the 2016 regulations, Rosberg taking his last two rounds ago in Austria after crashing in FP3.

That gearbox is required to last until the Singapore Grand Prix in September, but concerns were raised after the issue at Silverstone.

Rosberg will use the gearbox during practice on Friday to ensure that it is able to be used over the remainder of the weekend.

“We will be running the race gearbox tomorrow to make sure it is OK and are optimistic that it will be,” a spokesperson for Mercedes said.

Rosberg arrived in Hungary leading the drivers’ championship by a single point after seeing Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton cut down the 43-point gap that existed before Monaco.

Rosberg is refusing to dwell on his difficult run of form, and is instead focusing on chalking up his first win in Hungary.

“I have reflected on each individual [race] once it’s done and then I’ve moved on,” Rosberg said.

“Feeling good, feeling excited to be here.

“It’s been a good season so far and I’m going to try and win this weekend, of course.”