Mercedes face investigation for covering Rosberg’s car

2015 British Grand Prix

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The stewards are investigating whether Mercedes broke the rules by covering Nico Rosberg’s car when it was brought back to the pits during first practice.

Rosberg came to a stop with a hydraulic fault during the first half hour of the session. Afterwards the stewards noted the team “covered the underside, rear diffuser area and the front wing” while bringing it back.

Formula One technical delegate Jo Bauer directed the stewards’ attention to this he considers it a breach of the Sporting Regulations.

Article 27.4 states: “During the entire event, no screen, cover or other obstruction which in any way obscures any part of a car will be allowed at any time in the paddock, garages, pit lane or grid, unless it is clear any such covers are needed solely for mechanical reasons, which could, for example, include protecting against fire.”

While the article does note that covers are allowed to be “placed over damaged cars or components”, according to Bauer “the car hadn’t suffered any kind of accident damage” and therefore “this in my opinion is a breach of article 27.4”.

Rosberg set the quickest time during today’s first practice session.

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    39 comments on “Mercedes face investigation for covering Rosberg’s car”

    1. Merc sabotaging Nico to make sure Lewis wins at home! SHOCK! HORROR!

      (This is a joke)

      1. Bjornar Simonsen
        3rd July 2015, 12:15

        Careful. Jokes like that will be taken seriously by some…

      2. I used to enjoy read the intelligent remarks to the posts and discussions on this site, but reading through this thread seems lile u stepped back into kindergarten.

        1. Michael Brown
          4th July 2015, 19:42

          It appears you missed the joke

    2. A good punishment is for the FIA to take pictures of those components in HD and plaster them all over the F1 website.

      1. That sounds like a good choice @kwekuq :)

        I hope it is a team fine of some sort, not some penalty for Rosberg.

      2. I say 25-place grid penalty. Those seem popular lately.

        1. Except no one has been given a 25 place penalty

          1. In fact that’s 15 places for the underside, 5 for the rear diffuser area and 5 for the front wing.

    3. Sean (@spaceman1861)
      3rd July 2015, 12:17

      Dun Dun Duuuuuunnn

    4. Does anybody know what could be the potential repercussions of such cases? I presume only a reasonably high fine.

      1. Basically, yes, although the International Sporting Code does allow for “obligation  to  accomplish  some  work  of  public interest” as an alternative. Perhaps displaying the car in HD as suggested above would qualify as such!

    5. ummm, and what would the penalty be if they are found guilty?

      1. it was a reprimand for the team. I guess the only reason for this “investigation” was that the FIA has decided that they want to do more to keep the teams from covering up their cars.

    6. I can see the ghost of 25 grid places penalty floating in the air…

      1. Hahahahhaha

      2. 25+5+5 so needs to start from pits, then couple of drivethroughs, 10s stop and 5s added to final time. Might happen!

        1. And even still he will probably win or place second.

          1. That’s too true.

    7. Testing 2016 parts?….

    8. I see a 5 place grid penalty coming

      1. “55 place grid penalty” you meant?

    9. No idea how strict a penalty would be, but I hope it’s not a grid penalty or anything like that for Nico.

      We were robbed of a battle at Silverstone last year. Hopefully not again this year.

      1. @calum, in the interest of fairness and the need to punish Mercedes, they could give both drivers a grid penalty ;-) Seriously though, I would be very surprised if any sort of sporting penalty is applied here.

    10. pick on Merc why dont they,
      just a couple of races ago we watched Ferrari cover up Vettels car when he pulled of the track with out damage,
      they covered that up before loading it onto the truck, so whats the big deal now????

      1. Think its because it was still covered when they got it off the flat bed to roll it into the Mercedes garage inside the paddock, all the stopped cars are covered while on the truck so they wouldn’t be saying this for that.

        1. @addimaf1
          That is just ridiculous detail….

      2. The key part of the regulation quoted above is:

        “in the paddock, garages, pit lane or grid”

        it is fine for cars to be covered when they are being recovered out on the track, as long as the covers are removed when the car returns back to the paddock, pitlane or garage.

    11. I sincerely hope there isn’t a driver penalty for this it seems likely that the only fight for the win this weekend will be between the Mercs given their reasonable similar pace a penalty to the driver for something the team has done would be stupid and the consisency nuts would go mental on twitter, the last thing F1 needs right now is more bad press

    12. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
      3rd July 2015, 13:27

      Perfect example of F1 having too many rules and regulations. They covered his car, so what? It has no bearing on anything important whatsoever.

      1. but maybe it does, how do you know? why else would they cover it???

      2. It does if everyone covers everything all of the time. The technological race is part of the entertainment, and being able to see the cars as they are being set up keeps the cameras rolling and gives technical commentators much more insight to explain the competitive order of the cars.

        One infraction may not have any bearing on that issue, but then again it’s extremely easy to not put a cover on something. The extent of that one rule has been agreed for years, and the sport would look very different without it.

        1. Simon (@weeniebeenie)
          3rd July 2015, 14:01

          Until they start covering the cars on the track I don’t see it being an issue.

          1. @weeniebeenie It was an issue, they brought in a rule, now it’s not an issue. Any suggestion that F1 shouldn’t bother applying its own rules just doesn’t make sense.

            They are still allowed to use screens and covers in testing and see what happens there. The rule makes sense.

            1. This is not football people, this is an engineering&driving competition. You cannot have just a couple of basic rules.

    13. i think Mercedes should be demoted to the back of the grid for both cars, it is right and fair in the “stupid era” f1 :) what they did was more blatent then alonsos tap on the force india in monaco :P

    14. I don’t see what’s wrong with covering a car’s modesty, I’m sure somebody would find it offensive.

    15. In my opinion to cover the bottom of the car after a hydraulic fault/ failure could be that they where just stopping fluids leaking out everywhere (stopping the environmental impact) :)

    16. It is typical of Ferrari to protest this after doing the same themselves in Austria. No one protested when they did it, and no one was bothered.

      Apparently the stewards recognised the hypocrisy in reaching their decision to give only a reprimand to Mercedes.

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