Jenson Button will add his name to the list of grid droppers this weekend, after McLaren have elected to change his gearbox ahead of the US Grand Prix weekend. According to the team on Twitter this is an unscheduled gearbox change for Button, since F1 regulations state that all gearboxes must last six consecutive events.
Rather interestingly though, this week the team confirmed via press release that they had issues with Kevin Magnussen’s gearbox in Russia where it completely seized during Practice Three, in an incident which looked suspension related. However further inspection revealed that a complete rupture of the gearbox casing itself happened, due to the temperatures it experienced caused the fault, which likely filtered down to Jenson’s car.
McLaren of course don’t use Mercedes’ gearbox system, so it comes as no surprise that they may have issues with the likes of cooling since it hasn’t been designed in tandem with and optimised for the Power Unit. Whether this will affect them in the next two races is a thought, however this certainly doesn’t help their chances in the battle with Force India for fifth place in the constructors championship.