Nico Rosberg penalised for British Grand Prix F1 radio rules breach

Mercedes and Nico Rosberg have been found guilty by the British Grand Prix stewards of flouting Formula 1's restrictions on radio communication

After finishing second at Silverstone behind race-winner and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, Rosberg has had 10 seconds added to his time, and is now classified third behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

The penalty reduces Rosberg's championship lead over Hamilton to just one point.

Mercedes intends to appeal penalty

A statement from the stewards, led by 1992 F1 world champion Nigel Mansell, said: "Having considered the matter extensively, the stewards determined the team gave some instructions to the driver that were specifically permitted under technical directive 014-16.

"However, the stewards determined the team then went further and gave instructions to the driver that were not permitted under the technical directive, and were in breach of article 27.1 of the sporting regulations, that the driver must drive the car alone and unaided."

Six laps from the end, when second-placed Rosberg was six seconds adrift of leader Hamilton, the German driver informed his team over the radio of a "gearbox problem".

With Rosberg losing pace and third-placed Verstappen closing in, Mercedes informed him to attempt a different setting, before suggesting he "avoid seventh gear".

Rosberg then asked for clarification as to whether he "should shift through it", to which he received an immediate response - "Yes, shift to eighth gear quickly".

It was an exchange that allowed Rosberg to keep Verstappen behind him over the final six laps, finishing 1.339s clear of the teenage Dutchman.

In the first incident of its kind since the introduction of the new regulations this season, the stewards summoned Rosberg to a hearing for an alleged breach of article 27.1 of the sporting regulations, namely "the driver shall drive the car alone and unaided".

In mitigation, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff cited point number two of a technical directive regarding permitted radio messages, referring to an "indication of a critical problem with the car".

In addition, it reads: "Any message of this sort may only be used if failure of a component or system is imminent and potentially terminal."

Wolff said: "In my opinion, that was the basis of our decision."

Asked what would have happened if the message had not been relayed, Wolff said: "It would have been stuck in seventh gear and that would have been the end, probably."


Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h34m55.831s
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 8.250s
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 16.911s
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 26.211s
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m09.743s
6 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m16.941s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m17.712s
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m25.858s
9 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m31.654s
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m32.600s
11 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
12 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1 Lap
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1 Lap
14 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
15 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
16 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
17 Kevin Magnussen Renault Gearbox
- Jolyon Palmer Renault Gearbox
- Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes Spun off
- Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari Transmission
- Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari Electrical
- Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes Spun off


Pos Driver Points
1 Nico Rosberg 168
2 Lewis Hamilton 167
3 Kimi Raikkonen 106
4 Daniel Ricciardo 100
5 Sebastian Vettel 98
6 Max Verstappen 90
7 Valtteri Bottas 54
8 Sergio Perez 47
9 Felipe Massa 38
10 Romain Grosjean 28
11 Nico Hulkenberg 26
12 Carlos Sainz Jr. 26
13 Daniil Kvyat 23
14 Fernando Alonso 18
15 Jenson Button 13
16 Kevin Magnussen 6
17 Pascal Wehrlein 1
18 Stoffel Vandoorne 1
19 Esteban Gutierrez 0
20 Jolyon Palmer 0
21 Marcus Ericsson 0
22 Felipe Nasr 0
23 Rio Haryanto 0

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