Red Bull Racing has fitted a metal plate to the underside of its gearboxes in a bid to avoid a repeat of the bizarre problem that forced Mark Webber to retire from last year's Singapore Grand Prix.
Webber stopped in the 2008 event when his Red Bull's gearbox selected two gears at once, a problem believed to be related to an electrical surge that could have been caused by a subway train. To avoid a repeat of the problem of underground electrical interference, team principal Christian Horner has revealed the outfit has updated its software and has fitted a metal plate under the gearbox.
"We had a failure on Mark's car last year that was very peculiar," explained Horner. "Basically two valves were triggered that selected two gears at once. There were a lot of theories last year as to why Mark had his problem, but we never found the real reason.
"There were suspicions of static electricity, so we've taken some precautions to prevent a repeat, including a code change for the software and some protection that we've added – and from what I understand we're not the only team to add that protection."
Last year, Toro Rosso also suffered an identical gearbox problem during practice, just a few feet further up the road from where Webber had his problem at Turn 13, close to the railway line near Raffles Place underground station.
"It shouldn't be something that reoccurs, but actually determining what caused it originally, is one of those things that we'll probably never know," added Horner.