Mercedes F1 driver Nico Rosberg has been demoted to third place after he was handed a 10-second time penalty following an investigation for a potential breach by Mercedes of F1’s team radio rules.
The German, who finished second place at the British Grand prix, has suffered a gearbox problem at the end of lap 46 of the British race, and has received instructions from his race engineer to help him deal with the issues.
In a radio call, Mercedes engineer told Rosberg to “chassis default 0-1” and to also “shift through” seventh gear. However, the radio advice appeared to be in breach of F1’s team radio restrictions, and the stewards deemed that the team gave instructions which breached Article 27.1 of the Sporting Regulations, which drivers are only supposed to receive instructions when a car-stopping problem is imminent and that the driver must drive the car alone unaided.
As reported earlier that the F1 governing body, FIA, has told F1 teams ahead of the British Grand Prix that it was getting tougher on what they could tell F1 drivers and that any breaches of the F1’s team radio regulations would be reported top stewards for potential punishment.
As a result of this investigation, the FIA decided to impose a 10-second time penalty as punishment, which drops Rosberg from second to third place, behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. This result also means that Rosberg now has a one point lead over team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the overall championship standings.
“The gearbox would have failed,’ Rosberg said in a statement before the decision was announced, via the Daily Mail. “It was a very critical problem because I was about to stop on track. I needed to fix it.”