By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
After losing 7th gear in his Mercedes W07 late in the British Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg received specific instructions from the team in order to carry on to what became a second place finish. Before the end of the race it was announced that the stewards would investigate the situation as it appeared Mercedes may have violated Article 27.1 of the Sporting Regulations, the sport’s new clampdown on pit to driver radio communications.
The Stewards have determined that the team did break the rules and handed Rosberg a 10 second time penalty which dropped him behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the official results and demoted the Mercedes driver to third place.
The crucial piece of evidence in the Stewards case was Tony Ross telling Rosberg what setting to put the car in the avoid the problem when Rosberg first radioed to the team his gearbox issue. They didn’t give Nico the chance to figure it out first and thus the penalty was awarded.
Mercedes at first lodged an appeal to the decision but then dropped it. The incident leaves Rosberg just one point ahead of Hamilton atop the standings; 168 to 167, with five wins to Hamilton’s four and one retirement a piece. With over half the season to go it is now game on for the championship.