Nico Rosberg loses second place over radio penalty, booed on podium
Nico Rosberg has been handed a 10-second penalty for an illegal radio exchange with his Mercedes team at the British Grand Prix.
The penalty sees the German drop from second to third in the race behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen, while his world championship lead has been cut to a single point - Rosberg leads team-mate Lewis Hamilton 168-167.
Stewards adjudged that, in telling Rosberg how to mitigate a gearbox problem, Mercedes violated new regulations that stipulate: "The driver must drive the car alone and unaided."
The team's argument that the issue constituted "a critical problem with the car" was rejected.
What pit engineer Tony Ross told Rosberg: The full transcript
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.”
The Stewards' statement
“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,” read a statement from the stewards. “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.”
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) in his box during Great Britain GP 2016Daimler AG
What Mercedes said
Nico Rosberg insisted the communication was within the rules due to an exception allowing teams to communicate “a critical problem with the car”.
Rosberg said: “It was a very critical problem - I was stuck in seventh gear and about to stop on track.
"They told me to change to default [settings] and try and fix it."
When asked if he was confident the communication was within the regulations, Rosberg was absolutely clear: "Yep".
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: "If you have a terminal failure you connect. I wouldn't pre-empt what the stewards say, but I think it was fine."
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner added: "The rule is complete rubbish, to be honest. That kind of thing should happen but it is not allowed and those are the rules we are working to. There are loads of messages we would love to be able to give our drivers today which we couldn’t because of the rules. If they have benefited through that then that is down to the stewards to decide. You’ve got to play to the rules.”
The German drew jeers from sections of the crowd at Silverstone in apparent retribution to the booing of Hamilton after his victory at last weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.
Interviewed on the podium, Hamilton praised the crowd, adding: "You don't hear a lot of booing."
Embarrassingly, that is precisely what happened, compounding a miserable weekend for Rosberg.
Nico Rosberg during the British Grand PrixReuters