Here’s what’s wrong with Rosberg penalty

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Nico Rosberg has been given a 10 second penalty for the team’s breach of article 27.1 of the Sporting Regulations that says the driver must drive the car alone and unaided. The stewards did find that the team relayed information that is permitted under technical regulations 014-16 but ran afoul of the regulation when telling Nico how to shift through his issues with the gearbox.

“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.”

If you consider that a 10-second penalty reduces his finishing position in the British Grand Prix to 4th and his championship points leads to just one, it was a harmful penalty but it took over three hours to render a verdict which Mercedes said they would appeal. The reason, it is said, that it took so long is that this is the first time a driver is facing this penalty so a precedent is being set. This is where my issue comes in to play with the penalty.

As you may have read in my Race Report here, I felt that this penalty should have already be decided and included in a handful of punitive actions Stewards could take if this regulation were to be breached…which the FIA surely knew it would be given how complicated these cars are and how prevalent the recent talk has been about it since Baku. When watching pundits discuss it in Baku, they seemed to suggest that a team would have to try it and see what the penalty is. Now they know.

After three hours, we’ve set a precedent going forward and this is where the issue comes into play. Mercedes typically has such a performance advantage that the 10-second penalty wouldn’t make much difference and this means that Merc can abuse the rule all they like for the remainder of the season while other teams would not be able to as they have less of an advantage over the field.

Let’s look at what this penalty would have done to Nico’s season so far if Mercedes would have ignored the radio ban at every race:

AUS- 1st to 3rd
BAH- still 1st
CHN- Still 1st
RUS- Still 1st
SPN- DNF
MCO- Still 7th
MON- 5th to 7th
BKU- Still 1st
AST- 4th to 5th
BRT- 2nd to 3rd

It would have impacted three races with two of them a single position and only Australia the biggest hit. If this regulation remains, then going forward it could be any team that has a clear performance advantage and they will bake that in to their decisions when racing. Think of the Red Bull era or Ferrari domination—same issue as Mercedes now.

In the British Grand Prix, Nico most likely would have finished much lower had the team not told him what to do as team boss Toto Wolff said:

“It would have been stuck in seventh gear and that would have been the end, probably.”

So the consequence would have been much worse if they had followed the regulation. Perhaps a better solution might be a drive-through penalty or even a mandatory tire change to softest compound on offer that race weekend? Just spit-balling here but I am thinking of ways in which the punitive action fits the situation and demands a clear detriment to ignoring the rule.

This isn’t a popular rule, by the way, as Sky Sports F1 were apoplectic in Baku making news where there really wasn’t any and demanding a re-think of the radio ban because Lewis suffered under its weight. This weekend no one is screaming bloody murder that the radio ban is silly and that Nico shouldn’t be penalized as his car was in a serious state. Funny how that works. Radio ban is ok now and penalty is not enough as far as #TeamLH thinks.

I think the ban is silly too and I don’t think the penalty was enough either but for markedly different reasons—mainly as it is a precedent that Mercedes can absorb in most situations and other teams cannot. If Williams F1 and Force India were mired in battle and one of their drivers were given instructions, a 10-second most likely would impact them or it marginally may not but surely a drive-through would or a mandatory pit stop to change tires to softest compound on offer.

Nico’s team breached the rules. They rolled the dice and now we know that they will be able to absorb this penalty for the rest of the season. If you assessed a 25-second penalty to simulate a drive-through, that would be a deterrent but a mandatory tire change would add an element of slow stops and soft tires in which to try and negotiate your way back through the field. The drive-through or mandatory tire change would have to occur within two laps of the penalty and ignoring that would be a disqualifying action.

Those are my thoughts on the situation but I am sure you all have much better ones so let’s hear them in the comment section below.

Final result after penalty:

REVISED RESULTS – 52 LAPS:

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 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

REVISED DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

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 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

Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT

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Coji
Guest

Being that Mercedes figured it would be better to ignore said article and fix the driver’s issue suggests they are or were aware that either the penalty would not be very severe (respective to their dominance as you put), or that they were not in breach of anything, or that not fixing it would have certainly led to no classification. I take the point in that the precedent would be set, but also that decisions should be made in-race (drive through/stop-and-go would have sufficed). Adding such small penalties (again, in respect to performance) is like the talk of fining HAM… Read more »

Alianora La Canta
Guest
Alianora La Canta

The pit radio rules also affect the pit boards, and any methods of pit-car communication anyone may choose to utilise. The precedent of Austria implies that Race Control was being as strict as you suggest, to the detriment of Force India and possibly also Mercedes. I see this as Mercedes deciding the strict interpretation as over-strict and deciding to do things their own way. They’ve just been heavily rewarded for it.

Mi8
Guest
Mi8

absolutely true … I am curious to see what will hapen for a apeal, Mercedes use that communication to maintain Nico second in the race, not realy for safety or mecanic reasons .. breach to the spirit of the rules. if the FiA dont want to loose crediblity after a fist verdict based on the form and the 10″ penality, they need to judge the appeal on the spirit of the rules … and it as to be strong … this is a reality. After the last judgment on the Pirelli test where Mercedes was declared not guilty, FiA can’t… Read more »

Alianora La Canta
Guest
Alianora La Canta

There is no “spirit of the rules”, only what is the letter of the rules. There’s an intention from the FIA, but none of the FIA courts are allowed to use that in judgment.

Mi8
Guest
Mi8

here we are .. no more appeal for Mercedes who accept THE INTERPRETATIoN of the stewarts …

Mi8
Guest
Mi8

clearly, the rules text is wrote to describe what FiA intend as an “help from the pit to the driver of the car” Mercedes explain to the stewarts that it’s for a reason exposed in the rules as an exception that they communicate some informations to Nico … They accept that and expose that the communication was extended to a non acceptable help to the driver, not in line not legal. If Mercedes apeal to that decision, the commission who will judge the case can change the Stewarts apreciation. Over the fact that sanction are not defined by the rules… Read more »

Michael
Guest
Michael

@Alianora In every debate that has ever been argued in the Stewards room, you will hear “spirit of the rules”, from both sides of the fence. To say that is not relevant in the argument is naive.

miniguy
Guest
miniguy

You have a valid argument there, but the soft tire thing is a bit iffy IMO. What if soft tires are what the situation actually calls for? What if it is raining? Anyway, something needs to be done.

Negative Camber
Guest

Yeah, I agree but I’m just throwing out a few suggestions to make it a more punitive event. Clearly you got my point but I agree, the tire change may be a bit iffy.

Ian Holloway
Guest
Ian Holloway

I think that if the 10 seconds had been served as a stop go penalty DURING the race then that definitely would have been more appropriate than the 10 seconds served after the fact, HOURS after crossing the line. Possibly more than 25 seconds in total? If so then 4th rather than 3rd maybe? If it’s too late to be served during the race then it has to be a minimum 25 second penalty as you suggest. Not sure about the enforced tyre change though.

Negative Camber
Guest

I think a drive-through would be enough. The only reason I suggest changing tires is to add an element of chance and to give the driver a fresh set to race back through the field. It’s not a great idea, admittedly, but I’m just spit-balling here.

Alianora La Canta
Guest
Alianora La Canta

A 10-second stop/go would be two degrees of severity above a 10-second time penalty (I think you are thinking of adding 10 seconds to a stop). Even 30 seconds (the equivalent to a 10-second stop/go in post-race parlance) wouldn’t have changed anything, because it would still have been 15 points in Nico/Mercedes’ pocket instead of 0, and knowing this in the race wouldn’t have made it any fairer.

Frankie_G
Member
Frankie_G

Brits have ruined this sport. Let’s start the British GP under a SC, heaven forbid Hamilton has to fight Rosberg on the 1st lap. And we will top it off with a BS penalty by the British stewards for Rosberg. And it was a borefest btw

Selva
Guest
Selva

Considering what happened to many drivers immediately after SC was IN (particularly on Turn 1), it was the right decision to start the race under SC.

Kat Schidt
Guest
Kat Schidt

Starting races under safety car is common safety procedure, Hamilton still had to fight Rosberg (and was much faster), and the stewards aren’t all British.

Want to try again?

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

I stand against the tone of Smee’s attack on the British, but I too smell a rat in starting a pole sitting home hero and poor starter under the safety car, juust to make sure he gets tucked into place with no incident and can scoot away. Especially since it meant there was zero race to watch with regard to who might win. The whole event was basically nullified by that one decision.

Sham.

92gsr
Guest
92gsr

Vettel revealed the extreme wets have no pace in them. That means the drivers would inevitably dive into the pits and switch to the intermediates as soon as they could. Whiting’s plan of a 5 lap parade on full-wets displaced enough water to support racing on intermediates without a bunch of cars sliding off the road or piling up at turn 1.

I’m a big fan of the 22 car drag race but fully understand this decision.

Kat Schidt
Guest
Kat Schidt

Again…

That decision is made by the race director, and it’s bog standard safety protocol. It happened earlier on in the season. And there’s no guarantee he would have made a bad start anyway, at Austria he made what appeared to me to be the best start of the top 5 cars.

The thing that nullified the event was Lewis Hamilton’s inherent speed advantage over his rivals. Even if he’d lost places at the start he would have had no trouble gaining them back.

This is just silly conspiracy theorising from sore losers.

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

It’s not who won or lost that bothers me, it’s that there was no point watching the race once they settled it into a nice organized line with everyone in his place. The only part that might have been interesting was removed by the organizers, who could have just waited ten minutes, swept the track a bit, or, God forbid, just allowed professional race car drivers to decide how fast they could safely navigate a wet track on the tires they did have.

deadbroke
Guest
deadbroke

I don’t think it was a conspiracy but it was BS. I don’t live in the UK and so can’t comment on what it’s like but I have watched enough top gear to hear Jeremy Clarkson complain about “health and safety”. This is the same thing (same as the US BTW). Yes, there was a downpour that soaked the track… then the sun came out BEFORE THE RACE STARTED. I was screaming at my TV. Safety car for 5 laps???? When it’s not raining. Yes, there were some puddles. These are professionals, they race in the rain and on wet… Read more »

MIE
Editor

Most of the cars were scraping the ground with the front part of the floor (as visible by the sparks being generated not under braking but also through Beckets). With standing water on the track it is not only the tyres that aquaplane, but the floor of the car is lifted off the track. It doesn’t matter how skilful the driver is at that point, as steering nd throttle will have little impact on where the car goes until the tyres make contact with the ground again. A regulation change to prevent the extreme rake angles used most teams would… Read more »

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

Wait ten minutes. That’s the alternative.

Nigel Cass
Guest
Nigel Cass

“Brits have ruined this sport”? Easy on that crap, ok? Please think decorum & civility before you push the “enter” key next time. Thanks.

Alianora La Canta
Guest
Alianora La Canta

The stewards will have been from 3 different countries, as the regulations require the 3 regular qualified stewards to each be from a different nation. The real problem is in the regulation itself: it was never enforceable due to the ease with which coding can be introduced undetected, and only a disqualification would have put the team in the same position as it would not had been had the rules not been broken.

Alianora La Canta
Guest
Alianora La Canta

So if you are 10 seconds ahead of 11th place, breaking the regulations on purpose to avoid a DNF is the right thing to do from a performance perspective – no matter what the performance advance. One rule for the front half of the grid and another rule for everyone else.

F1Racer
Guest

OK my thoughts on this. It’s not a case of ‘oh it’s Nico so he shouldn’t be told anything but with Lewis in Baku he should have been’. I’m not buying the favouritism card one bit even that it was the British GP. Lewis won regardless. In Lewis’ case, he had a technical issue on the car that the team could have told him how to fix but told him they couldn’t. In Nico’s case he had a technical issue on the car that the team has no hesitation in telling him how to correct. Mercedes were permitted by the… Read more »

Negative Camber
Guest

My point is that few in the press were calling this penalty nonsense because the ban is nonsense. The narrative out of Baku was Lewis’s issue and Sergio’s issue (or was that Austria I think) and Kimi’s issue. They slated the ban and called it nonsense and that it needed changing. Now we have the first penalty handed out over something they clearly felt was an anathema and yet few are continuing the call for a re-think of the ban. You would think the rebel in them would say kudos to Merc for ignoring the ban and doing what is… Read more »

F1Racer
Guest

The radio ban is nonsense to a point. I do think driver coaching should be outlawed and strictly enforced, but issues with the car or that of safety or reliability should be ok providing that teams don’t use those messages as code for other messages (which we know they will do). But as the radio ban is in place and the rules are clear, the penalty is valid imo. Also it makes up for that pathetic so-called penalty Rosberg got in Austria. Of course other people would be upset if the roles were reversed, but that doesn’t change anything, the… Read more »

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

To be fair, Martin Brundle at Sky F1 had a few choice words to say when it was announced there was going to be an investigation into the radio calls. I don’t remember his exact words, but he did make very clear he thought it was completely daft.

Negative Camber
Guest

BTW, Charlie White over on our Facebook page had a good suggestion that I hadn’t thought about but what if Constructor Points are at play too? It’s a team issue so maybe docking them points is good as well. Problem there is, Merc has that and change too.

Chuck C
Guest
Chuck C

Remember …. the annual entry fee is X+(Y*Constructor’s Points). If a team is docked Constructor’s Points as well, they FIA is just screwing themselves out of tens or maybe hundreds-of-thousands of Euros. They won’t let that happen!

Bacon Wrapped Sushi
Guest
Bacon Wrapped Sushi

Steve Matchett had theorized the FIA could have reduced constructor points during F1 Extra. Why punish Nico for what should be the team’s mistake?

Negative Camber
Guest

And I agree. The drivers are going to ask but the team doesn’t have to say. It’s a team issue, not a Nico issue.

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

It’s the same discussion we have when the team lets the car leave the pits in an unsafe condition – why should the driver be penalized for the team’s mistake? I get that argument, but also realize it goes both ways, since the driver benefits from when the team does things right. Otherwise, why should the team get constructor’s points when it’s the driver that wins? You win as a team, and you lose as a team. The two can’t be separated.

Michael
Guest
Michael

I’m afraid this instance is just a snapshot of what F1 has become. We now have cars that are, in fact, too complex to operate at their maximum level without assistance from a group of hundreds of engineers. Just think about that…this is not an exaggeration, this is fact. Today’s F1 cars are the answer to a question that nobody asked. None of the fans, who in reality are the only reason it exists at all, were asking the what ifs that brought us to this complex machine that is called an F1 car. Who asked, what if we could… Read more »

Richard Piers
Guest
Richard Piers

Think you’re viewing the past through rose tinted glasses. There have always been good and bad races, good and bad seasons. First race I ever went to Silverstone 1958 won at a canter by Peter Collins plus Ferrari and who died a couple of weeks later at Nurburgring such was the way in those days. Mike Hawthorn won his world championship without a win, Stirling Moss won 3 but finished runner up. Very rare to have truly close racing in F1 even without the aeroplane bits.

Michael
Guest
Michael

And I think you completely missed what I am saying. F1 used to be exciting to watch, always. I suppose I could belive you went to a race in 1958. However, from my view, you didn’t comprehend what you were seeing. You didn’t grasp the difficulty of driving the beast that was F1. It’s too bad for you that you didn’t really understand what you were seeing. But, perhaps it’s better this way. You don’t notice the changes that have come, or what F1 has evolved into. We won’t agree, and that’s ok. Wasn’t it something about arraigning the deck… Read more »

Richard Piers
Guest
Richard Piers

Blimey ! That’s pretty patronising. I was a driver what about you ? Oh and I won my first race and others. You ??

Michael
Guest
Michael

Yes, currently make, have made my living in professional Motorsport for over 35 years. Drove, yes, professionally. Didn’t win my first race, finished 2nd.

Achim
Guest
Achim

Agree with you. 1. Situation is different from Baku, because Lewis car was not on the verge of breakdown and the new engine mode was performance enhancing. 2. Nicos car here was “broken”, so they told him how to fix it, which is apparently ok. But then within that communication to punish him for clarifying about shifting through 7th gear, which is also clearly not really performance enhancing and part of the fix, seems harsh. 3. I always do not like, when they change rules (or their enforcement) in the middle of the season. Had same rules applied, Lewis would… Read more »

Negative Camber
Guest

This makes me wonder if telling Lewis that his issue was a engine mapping setting was actually a breach just like saying shifting through 7th is? The team told Lewis, yes, it’s just an engine setting, Lewis. I wouldn’t think so but given that they felt the affirmation of Nico’s solution was…who knows? It’s a grey area at some level. In Baku, Lewis identified that it was an engine setting and the team just affirmed that. Seems fair enough to me but is the affirmation of Nico’s proposed solution also fair? I guess that’s what Merc will appeal.

Mat
Guest
Mat

Totally see your point on 2. The distinction drawn by the stewards is nonsense.

Achim
Guest
Achim

Also funny. The first line of the stewards decision: “After having considered the matter extensively” … Don’t they always do that? Was it a special occasion this time and normally they just draw lots? I mean, I hope the consider every matter extensively. I thought that is part of the job description of a race steward and does not need special mentioning! :-)

Negative Camber
Guest

Well, let’s face it…3+ hours is pretty extensive. :)

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

Odd penalty. Or, rather, an odd regulation. So it’s ok to tell him to switch modes to protect against gearbox failure, but not to tell him to shift through 7th gear for the same reason? How is one permitted and not the other (or, if you’d rather: why is one forbidden and not the other)? One problem is that 014-16 is not part of the technical regulations, but a technical directive. Those apparently only goes out to the teams and doesn’t seem to be available online, so there’s no way for us to see exactly what it says. I agree… Read more »

92gsr
Guest
92gsr

Lewis revealed in Austria that they have a gauge in the car that shows brake temps and they know what window they should be in so a radio warning beyond “watch your brakes” should be illegal. Basically, warnings about things that the driver can monitor and explanations of what the driver needs to do are illegal. The only legal instructions are to prevent imminent failure. So their instructions to Nico were legal but when Nico realized that mode would lock out 7th gear and asked the redundant question of if he should shift through, Mercedes violated the rule by verifying.… Read more »

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

Ah, if there’s a brake temp gauge, then I can see how it (under the current rules) could be something the driver would be expected to monitor “unassisted”.

Re the follow-up question about shifting through, I’m not so sure it was redundant. When told to “avoid 7th gear”, that can mean “don’t shift above 6th” or “quick shift through to 8th” – quite a difference.

92gsr
Guest
92gsr

I assumed the engineers would have told him not to go above 6th if that;s what they meant. Having heard the radio messages during the race I thought they meant skip 7th as well, but since we don’t know what “chassis mode 1” does we can only speculate whether or not Nico’s question was redundant.

Mat
Guest
Mat

Completely agree. If the first part is OK, then why couldn’t they tell Lewis which mode? And why could Force India warn Perez FFS?! If it is supposedly because of a critical issue then that is very grey and very open to abuse and inconsistency in future.

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

They couldn’t tell Lewis in Baku because it wasn’t critical/a potential failure. The brake thing in Austria is potentially different, though – at least Mercedes said they didn’t tell Nico about it for fear of being penalized. Maybe one side effect of this ruling is that the teams now know they can tell the driver the brakes are about to go (but they still can’t say how to drive to manage the brakes).

Ambientereal
Guest
Ambientereal

One thing is tell to switch another is to tell what to switch.

Sid
Guest
Sid

The rules are too too vague, and its honestly a problem with F1 jumping the bandwagon in banning radio communication. It can be argued that if Nico had shifted to 7th, then his gearbox would have gotten stuck again leading to a potentially terminal failure. So in such a case, would it take precedence over “driver advice”? In all honesty, the rule was never design to prevent such sort of coaching. What people were getting sick of was drivers being told which line to take into a particular turn, or when to brake or anything that essentially made them a… Read more »

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

The rule is intended to be very clear – there’s a list of all the things you are allowed to say to the driver, and everything else is forbidden. But that’s on paper… in reality, it does become quite vague rather quickly. How does one – in the heat of the moment – differentiate between “avoid 7th gear” (which was deemed to be ok under TD 014-16) and “shift through 7th” (which was deemed to be forbidden under the Sporting Regulations §27.1)? The reasoning behind these rules seems to vary with who you talk to. Some argue that the driving… Read more »

Negative Camber
Guest

Yes but wasn’t Sergio’s brake issue a failure related concern that resulted in a crash in Baku?

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

Yes, and now they know that telling drivers about such concerns is ok, but telling the driver how to manage the failing brakes (e.g. lift and coast, use more ERS-K charging) is not ok. But at the same time, telling the driver to choose a higher regeneration mode, because the brakes are overheating and about to go, should be ok (since Mercedes were allowed to tell Nico which settings to use to avoid gearbox damage)…? It is a right mess, this…

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

But didn’t force india say they checked and confirmed during the race that they were NOT allowed to tell him? I’m pretty sure I remember that.

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

Now that you mention it, I seem to remember that too. A little down the thread, 92gsr pointed out that at least Mercedes seems to have a brake temp indicator in the car – maybe that’s why Race Control denied the request? Since it would then be something the driver would be expected to monitor “unassisted”. I don’t know, of course, but it’s a guess at least. So much of this is guesswork (as per normal in F1).

Mat
Guest
Mat

I’m sure you’re right, that’s the explanation. But it’s BS. Differentiating between what MAY be a terminal issue and what is a potentially very damaging issue to a race result is just silly.

Negative Camber
Guest

Well, and it also assume they will make the calls right and timely too.

Cedric Lee
Guest
Cedric Lee

This is a pointless article. What you’re not considering at all is this is just the first penalty Mercedes has incurred for this offense. They cannot simply add this into their race calculations as you claim because repeated offenses would surely incur a larger and larger penalty. It’s not as simple as just adding 10 seconds to the race strategy and then being able to say whatever you’d like over the radio. If they keep doing it I’m sure the fia will impose harsher and harsher penalties going forward. Like the driver point system – a single offense might not… Read more »

Negative Camber
Guest

Thanks for calling my “editorial” pointless, I really appreciate your kind words, decorum & civility. Let me shed light on my opinion and address your stolid and well-buttressed argument (see how I complimented you even though I don’t agree with a thing you said?). That’s how we work here, BTW. I would like for you to show or link me to the FIA article or warning that repeated offenses will incur higher and higher penalties. Anything? How do you know that? You speak as if that’s a published memorandum to all teams and even the most casual fan. I’ve read… Read more »

Cedric Lee
Guest
Cedric Lee

my point with the driver point system is to show that the fia will give harsher penalties for repeat offenders. they’ve shown this in their assessment of track limits as well. if a driver repeatedly goes beyond track limits after being warned, they will be punished. in their previous judgments fia has shown that they will punish repeat offenders more harshly. to use your example – they’ve punished maldonado for accidents that others have gotten away with. the one with ericsson at brazil was very harsh considering others have done similar things and gotten away with it. though they may… Read more »

Negative Camber
Guest

I understand your point and would agree that penalties vary but we’ve known they do depending on stewards at the race, interpretations and previous penalties. These are all driver penalties, not team penalties. I am trying to think of a team that had recurring infractions and was met with steadily increasing severity of punishment. The written penalty is 10-seconds which the FIA explained. They said the decision took longer because they were setting a precedent. Sky Sports reported that comment from FIA officials. To me, that means it is to be the standard going forward. Even Christian Horner said as… Read more »

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

It’s not just Mercedes – now all the teams know what the penalty is for issuing an instruction that is against the rules, and can factor that into the equation.

Mat
Guest
Mat

I think it’s an important precedent. It is reasonable to expect a degree of consistency, even for Merc, if the circumstances are similar. They couldn’t, for example, penalize Lewis 20 seconds because it was the team’s second offense.

Yes, Mercedes can afford to take away few of these penalties and suffer less impact than other teams, but that is true of every other penalty and they are not blase about them.

mini696
Member

Take the stewards three hours, but they expect the team to make a split second decision.

Rapierman
Member
Rapierman

If you take the very pessimistic view, then a DQ would be the answer, or perhaps DQ’ing the full team for the entire season. This would be the equivalent of the “death penalty”: A way to make the pain everlasting because the entity in question has proven to have no compunction about violating the rules. This is the philosophy of administering the death penalty in real life: The offender has proven that he or she is a permanent danger to society. Of course, for most people, the idea of killing an offender does come into conflict with the philosophy that… Read more »

meine
Member
meine

I’m stupid, so I need to ask:

– What is DQ?
– What is SMU scandal?
– What is NCAA?

Wait, let me google it.

Here’s what I think the answers are: DisQualify and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_penalty_(NCAA)

jcn115
Guest
jcn115

Dairy Queen….

Kat Schidt
Guest
Kat Schidt

The argument that Lewis’ fans are changing tack are silly. I never wanted nico to get a penalty, and I still find it absurd that they can’t even instruct a driver to stop their car dropping out.

Negative Camber
Guest

I get your point…see my comment above. If the outrage over the radio ban (which has been going on in the press since Baku) was still there, then why the silence after a driver is penalized? You would think they would use that to further their point that the radio ban is egregious in cases like this with imminent failure and the complexity of the resolution needed. I’ve read that no where. I’ve read no defense of Mercedes’ actions given their trenchant position on the radio ban.

Kat Schidt
Guest
Kat Schidt

Your memory is different to mine, because I don’t recall universal outrage from the press, not even here in the UK. I recall them reporting on other people in F1 lamenting the ban, but that’s just reporting. Besides, why are they going to carry on repeating the same stories?

Roger Flerity
Guest
Roger Flerity

The penalty is fine, the rule makes some sense. Drivers who need to be told what to do, who do not understand what to do when the car is misbehaving, don’t deserve to win championships. That said, the point about weighing violation of a rule against the consequences of letting their ignorant driver break the car… Well, that’s just racing management, and in a way kinda brilliant, well played Mercedes – They obviously bet that any penalty put onto them, would be less an impact than having the trans fail and leave Nico a DNF or finish out of the… Read more »

Negative Camber
Guest

Well, to be fair, then you’re talking about Kimi, Lewis, Nico and others who have had a car issue. You seem to be focusing on Nico and I should think all of these drivers had issues with their cars and couldn’t figure it out immediately.

Roger Flerity
Guest
Roger Flerity

And they were not provided pit wall coaching or advise, so avoided the penalty.I don’t get your point. The rule applies to all on the grid, and Hamilton’s Baku snafu emphasizes the point that drivers need to improve their technical knowledge, and capability to solve their own problems to avoid needing pit wall advise. The teams also need to consider making the controls simpler, and reduce the number of silly modes and options they rely on the driver to change throughout the race.

Mike S
Guest
Mike S

Wow, a tremendous amount of wisdom and perspective here, thanks NC for such a great editorial piece.

Selva
Guest
Selva

It may not be 10 seconds penalty every time. Probably this being the first time, the stewards have given 10 seconds penalty and if it becomes a repeat offence, then, they may also severe the penalty….so your view of Merc using it to their advantage doesnt hold good..

Negative Camber
Guest

Where is that written? That multiple offenses will garner more sever punishment? Also given that every race has different stewards, inconsistency and interpretations? Here is what I do know about the FIA…the stewards are giving a set of punitive actions they can impose on certain infractions. There is no information from the FIA as to this particular infraction, what punitive actions could be applied or how they will deal with multiple offenses. It seems to me that you both are just assuming they will and while I appreciate your thinking, it is not written anywhere I have seen. IF the… Read more »

APB
Guest
APB

Not sure about the radio ban but suggest team punishment should a percentage of constructors championship points or perhaps a sliding scale based on the position? This hurts leading teams more than lower placed and increases the penalty toward the end of the season.

Negative Camber
Guest

Yeah, it’s a good point but then I wonder now how we are placing more punitive damage on this regulation than others like causing accidents and unsafe releases. Why would this be the mother of all major penalties and not other safety issues etc? You get my point I’m sure. Not disagreeing with you, just wondering why this would end up being so severe given that most think it’s a silly rule or at least a rule that’s overreaching.

Ambientereal
Guest
Ambientereal

All over auto magazines are telling us that drivers should be alone, that it was better before when they had much less technical aids, and now, that a penalty is imposed, they complain. Man decide what you actually wish!!!

MIE
Editor

If a ten second penalty had been applied to any of the drivers in the top ten (the only ones where it would make a difference to championship standings), the change in position would vary between zero (either Red Bull) and four places (Raikkonen) with three places for Hamilton. I don’t think that Mercedes have a free pass to ignore the radio ban.

Negative Camber
Guest

I’m not sure I am suggesting it is a free pass but as I said, it would have had impact on three of the races for Nico this year. Point is, if we now know that the penalty is 10s, then teams will weigh that if they are having a Baku-like situation in the future. Merc has had pace to cover 10s. Maybe not today but typically they do…or at least Rosberg has this year. Even with the penalty, he still finishes top 5 and hold the title lead. Otherwise, it was a DNF as toto said. Not a free… Read more »

MIE
Editor

Would either of the drivers affected in Baku (Hamilton and Raikkonen) have improved their finishing time by more than ten seconds? If so it could be worth breaking the rule. For Rosberg’s situation at Silverstone (break the rule or non finish),I can see why Mercedes made the decision. For Hamilton and Raikkonen at Baku, they weren’t at the risk of not finishing, so it would have been harder to justify (especially as the team’s did not know the severity of the penalty). There may be some similar situations in the future, I was surprised that Force India didn’t do something… Read more »

Negative Camber
Guest

around 10-ish laps remaining if memory serves.

GaryK
Guest
GaryK

I think Mercedes was clever enough to achieve not one but two objectives here: They had no idea as to the possible severity of the penalty for radio advice. Moreover, the driver was not in control of the communication. By giving instructions, they were able to put the turd in Nico’s pocket as a fait accompli. If the penalty had been severe, say, disqualification, well, there’s Nico’s payback for the Austria incident. If not severe, then they got a precedent moving forward. This is a stupid rule and I suspect the teams are now writing software to give the drivers… Read more »

K.M.
Guest
K.M.

Ok I’ll say it then, just has I had on FB. The ban is silly, stupid meddling by the FIA. There. I’m a Ferrari guy so I don’t really give a rip about Lewis or Nico. Racing is a team sport and it should be treated as such. There’s a huge difference to be guided through a fix vs the team being able to fix it remotely from the pit box. That last part I am against. This isn’t making the sport more pure or anything else. If they want to go back to no radios, pit boards only, then… Read more »

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

More info on the incident, including more parts of the radio conversation that wasn’t in the world feed broadcast: http://www.racecar-engineering.com/blogs/rosberg-radio-rule-breach-explained/?platform=hootsuite

Peter Fletcher
Guest
Peter Fletcher

Of course he should get a penalty. The rules allowing them to tell him are to prevent something dangerous happening, not that he might slow down or stop! Schumacher drove over half a race in 5th gear in Barcelona and still came second. I can’t believe that Rosberg asked what he should do!