After being investigated by the FIA for receiving instructions from Mercedes during the British Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg was handed a ten-second timed penalty as punishment.
Approaching the closing stages of the race at Silverstone, Rosberg reported a ‘gearbox’ problem with his car, which prompted Mercedes to give him clear to instructions on how to resolve the issue.
Rosberg: “Gearbox problem.”
Engineer: “Driver default 1-0-1, chassis default 0-1, chassis default 0-1.”
Engineer: “Avoid seventh gear, Nico, avoid seventh gear.”
Rosberg: “What does that mean, I have to shift through it?”
Engineer: “Affirm Nico, you need to shift through it. Affirm, you need to shift through it.”
A statement from the FIA said that after investigating the incident thoroughly they concluded that Mercedes were in Breach of Art.27.1. of the sporting regulations.
“The stewards, having received a report from the Race Director, heard from the driver and team representatives and examined audio evidence, have considered the following matter, determine a breach of the regulations has been committed,” the statement read.
“Reason: Having considered the matter extensively, the stewards determined that the team gave some instructions to the driver that we specifically permitted under Technical Directive 014-16.
“However, the Stewards determined that the team 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.”
As a result of the penalty, Rosberg dropped to third in the final race results with Max Verstappen taking his P2.
Lewis Hamilton, the eventual race winner, is also now only one point behind his teammate on the Drivers’ Championship table following the FIA’s decision.