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Mercedes confident gearbox issues have been fixed

15 Jul 2014

Mercedes have found a solution for the gearbox problem which halted Nico Rosberg's progress in Britain, according to the team's technical chief Paddy Lowe.

Rosberg had taken an early command of proceedings at Silverstone, but was forced to cede the lead to team mate Lewis Hamilton and then to retire from the race on lap 29 with a gearshift issue. Hamilton went on to score his fifth victory of the season, slashing Rosberg's championship lead to just four points in the process.

Alongside typical development work, Lowe said identifying the nature of Rosberg's retirement has been a chief focus for Mercedes in the build-up to the team's home Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

"The main priority of the days since [the British Grand Prix] has been to understand the gearbox problem we saw with Nico's car and to make sure there is no recurrence moving forwards," Lowe explained.

"As with any such scenario, a lot of work has been put into rectifying the issue and we head to Hockenheim with a remedy in place.

"We will also be bringing a number of other upgrades evaluated during the Silverstone test last week, so we look forward to the next race in the hopes of both improved performance and a more robust package from a reliability perspective.

"The championship battle is very close between Nico and Lewis, with an exciting contest between the two very much on the cards, so we can expect an entertaining weekend ahead."

Rosberg said his retirement was symptomatic of being at the forefront of Formula One's new technological era.

"With the new regulations we are always going to be pushing the boundaries and I know how hard the team is pushing to give us the best car out there every weekend," he reflected.

"I lost a lot of points and the championship battle is very close, but I'm feeling good. From the test last week we're straight into the next race and another chance to regain the momentum, which is of course my target."

Hamilton meanwhile said he hopes retirements do not shape the 2014 world championship title fight, adding: "It's going to be a really close battle between us. Of course, you never want to see your team-mate fall away, but hopefully we can now strike a line under the retirements and push each other all the way on track."