For the second time in as many weeks and races, Nico Rosberg has been given a 10 second time penalty for a breach of the FIA’s Sporting Regulations during a race. It means that with the punishment, Rosberg is relegated to third place behind Max Verstappen, but stays ahead of Verstappen’s Red Bull team mate Daniel Ricciardo.
The penalty comes as a result of Rosberg receiving instructions from race engineer Tony Ross on lap 47 of the British Grand Prix earlier this afternoon when suffering with a gearbox issue. The German was told to move into “Default Chassis Mode 01”, but that isn’t the instruction that is in question. The infringement occurred when Ross advised Rosberg to avoid the use of seventh gear – therefore meaning that Rosberg was not truly driving the car by himself.
It is a breach of Article 27.1 in the FIA’s International Sporting Regulations. The stewards report compiled by Nigel Mansell, Tim Mayer, Nish Shetty and Dennis Carter accused Mercedes of helping Rosberg unfairly.
Having considered the matter extensively, the Stewards determined that the team gave some instructions to the driver that were specifically permitted under Technical Directive 014-16. However, the Stewards determined that the team then went further and gave instructions to the driver that were not permitted under the Technical Directive, and were in Breach of Art. 27.1 of the Sporting Regulations, that the driver must drive the car alone and unaided.
The controversial radio ban has been questioned by the media, drivers, constructors and fans, due to incidents such as Kimi Raikkonen in Canada and Lewis Hamilton in Azerbaijan having their races hampered by the communication ban.
With the matter settled, it means that Rosberg’s World Championship lead is cut further, to just one point after his Mercedes team mate Hamilton claimed victory at his home race in Silverstone.
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