Rosberg avoids penalty for slow driving in Q1

2016 British Grand Prix

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British GP qualifying in pictures
Nico Rosberg has been cleared of breaking the rules during qualifying.

The Mercedes driver was investigated for exceeding the maximum time limit during Q1 measured between the Safety Car lines at the pit lane exit and entrance.

However the stewards decided to take no action after ruling Rosberg “was not on an in-lap when the time between the Safety Car lines was set”.

Rosberg therefore keeps his place alongside Lewis Hamilton on the front row of the grid for Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

“The team has given us an incredible car,” he said after qualifying. “It really was a pleasure to drive out there today – especially through these spectacular high-speed corners where it’s just awesome. It’s like the car is on rails, which is just what you want as a driver, so a big thank you to everyone for that.”

“It wasn’t my day out there today – but congratulations to Lewis, who did an awesome job. Tomorrow is the day and it’s all to play for and it will be a great battle between Lewis and me.”

2016 British Grand Prix

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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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    23 comments on “Rosberg avoids penalty for slow driving in Q1”

    1. Firstly, It would have been a stupid penalty so it’s good this hasn’t affected the race, however, this is the lamest get out of jail free card from the stewards.

      My uncle’s best mate is called Dave and it was quarter past 3 so we’ll ignore the wording of the rule.

      1. Ignore the wording? Where? The rule speaks of in laps during and after quali, and recon laps during the race. Nico was not on an in lap. Nuff said. But furthermore the time taken is shades of grey and determined by the race director and can also be amended….so…even if Nico was on an in lap there was no guarantee he would have been penalized.

        1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
          9th July 2016, 19:53

          @robbie that’s a strange interpretation. Here’s the rule –

          “At no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person. This will apply whether any such car is being driven on the track, the pit entry or the pit lane.”

          “In order to ensure that cars are not driven unnecessarily slowly on in laps during and after the end of qualifying or during reconnaissance laps when the pit exit is opened for the race”


          The rule is designed to prevent drivers running dangerously slowly hence “at no time”, the bit about in laps and reconnaissance laps is explanatory – it doesn’t mean that it’s OK to drive dangerously slowly at other times!

          I can’t see any reason for Rosberg to escape a penalty.

          1. Again, it’s for in laps and Nico wasn’t on one. I’ll assume he also didn’t endanger anyone, hence no penalty. You’ve left out the part about it being a discretionary thing too.

            But you carry on and second guess the stewards though, as you know better. It must be a pro-Nico conspiracy…there’s no other possibility.

            1. Fair enough. I missed that bit! Apologies for the mistake.

            2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
              9th July 2016, 21:42

              @robbie of course it’s not just for in laps, the rule is to prevent dangerous driving “at any time” (as it says), not just dangerous driving during in laps! Don’t be ridiculous.

            3. It’s a typical wishy-washy FIA style rule. The phrase “At no time” should, in a rational interpretation, override “during an in lap”. It was a dangerously slow lap set during qualifying, and as such, if the rule exists, should have been penalized.

              It’s a bit like saying “we have a zero tolerance for exceeding track limits– but only at these three corners, or turn 1 if you’re Danish”.

              However (and I say this without hard facts, based on my perception), I think Rosberg is the driver *least* likely to be punished for an infraction before the stewards– even at Austria, the 10 second penalty for causing a collision made no difference to the race outcome.

            4. @thegrapeunwashed You needn’t accuse me of being ridiculous given that he wasn’t penalized, therefore you need to take this up with the stewards. I’m just taking the wording in the article about Nico not being on an in-lap, and matching that to the wording in the rule that doesn’t exclusively say ‘at any time’ but also says ‘in-lap’, and going with that. I didn’t make up the in-lap part, but you are choosing to ignore it for your own argument. I’m sure if Nico had endangered somebody we would have heard more about this with a complaint from another driver or team, as well as perhaps even a penalty.

            5. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
              10th July 2016, 11:14

              @robbie the rule clearly says that driving dangerously slowly is prohibited at any time. It is bonkers to suggest that dangerous driving is only prohibited during in laps and reconnaissance laps! What would be the logic behind such a rule?

          2. I don’t think the officials give a minimum time limit except for in and out laps.
            I fully expect that next week will see another change to the rules and regulations.

          3. Sviatoslav (@)
            10th July 2016, 9:02

            I can’t see any reason to implement such a stupid rule in the first place.
            Because now, even if a driver doesn’t impede anyone, he is to blame anyway. You are to blame just because you are.
            Isn’t it more logical to give a penalty when a driver actually hinders another driver in qualifying?

      2. The reason he got away with it is because the adhered to the wording of the rule.

    2. Well no surprise here. Mr. Teflon does it again

      1. As I understand it he didn’t get a penalty because the rule only applies if it’s an in-lap. As he didn’t pit it wasn’t an in-lap therefore he hasn’t done anything wrong. you can’t really punish a driver for going slow on a completed lap as its up to them what speed they drive as long as they don’t impede another driver of course.

    3. Just when is Rosberg going to be punished for all his dirty tricks and rule breaking, other drivers get them but never this spoilt child.

      1. Well today he would have had to have done something wrong, and he didn’t.

        1. no Robbie just drove slow for the hell of it

          1. Not for the hell of it, to save his tyres for the race.

          2. Probably something to do with preserving tires or doing systems checks or who knows what. I’m guessing he didn’t do it to intentionally endanger someone, as much as you sound like you think it’s the case. Evil Nico. The nerve of him not doing something wrong, and those stewards that he has in his pocket not penalizing him anyway. Sorry they ruined your day.

    4. Imagine teh shame, if you get such a penalty….

    5. If the FIA used the word, “dangerous”, in the text of the rule, then what difference does it make if a driver is on an in lap or if he is just taking a slow tour of the track. This just highlights the daftness of some of the articles in their rule book. It is like saying secondary smoke is not dangerous to others if you lit your cigarette while walking away from home, but only dangerous if you were smoking while on your way home.
      There are too many useless rules in their books.

    6. It’s a stupid rule in the first place. It should only be enforced when it obviously affects another driver.

    7. Meanonsunday
      10th July 2016, 13:33

      It’s clear that he did break the rule; obviously the explanation of the rule mentions in laps because that is logically when someone would deliberately drive slow but the rule itself applies to any lap. It doesn’t suddenly become ok to drive slow just because you are on an out or hot lap. Since the stewards have discretion they can certainly say that he didn’t endanger anyone and therefore no penalty, but their explanation involving in laps is nonsense. The discretionary part of the rule should only involve whether he knew that there were no cars anywhere close to him and could drive at that speed without endangering other drivers.

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