Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2016

Rosberg insists he did not infringe yellow flag rules

2016 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg says he did ‘what he needed to do’ when he reached the yellow flag zone in the second sector during his pole lap in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Rosberg took advantage when Lewis Hamilton was forced to abandon his final lap after a yellow flag and pipped his team mate by almost two tenths of a second. Despite driving through the same caution zone as Hamilton, Rosberg says he acknowledged the yellows and fulfilled his obligation to back off.

“I acted according to what you need to do,” explains Rosberg. “I showed a big lift and slowed down. I was slower in that yellow sector than on my previous fast lap, so I did what needed to be done. I’m quite sure and I hope that will be okay.”

With no indication that the stewards are planning to investigate his pole lap, Rosberg says he is looking forward to tomorrow’s grand prix.

“I’ve been feeling really good out there the whole weekend, in all conditions,” says Rosberg.

“Wet, dry, even with high fuel on Friday. It’s been a great weekend so far. So looking forward to the race and a great opportunity tomorrow.”

2016 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 16 comments on “Rosberg insists he did not infringe yellow flag rules”

    1. The problem isn’t Rosberg’s actions. The problem is that they never, ever, properly enforced the rule. Double yellow flags mean “slow down and prepare to stop”, not “lift a bit and carry on”.

      The stewards always let them through just like that.

      If you have to slow down and be prepared to stop, but you need the telemetry to show that “you slowed down”, then you’re not slowing down enough as per the spirit of the rules. It’s ironic too, since the drivers have become so vocal about safety since Jules’ accident, like with the crane at that F3 race last week.

      But then, with double yellows, they set purple sectors… It also happened in Austria, and most were cleared, even if the onboard shots showed almost no lift while Carlos Sainz’s car was being recovered.

    2. Well at drying track, just not beating your fastets time in particular yellow section is not enought, thanks to huge evolution of the track – anyone can drive almost full speed (as Rosberg) showed. Surely this safety concern has to be dealt with, before we are even considering radical solutions like Halo…

      Does anyone know how exactly is “the readiness to stop” under double yellow defined? Much thanks.

      1. There Is a little flaw in your Logic, me thinks. On a drying track barely not beating your fastest Time of course means You slowed more than You usually would in order to just not improve, as You are going faster anyways because of the drying track.

        1. You are right ofcourse, the first part is completely wrong.

          So just the second part of my coment is valid and appropriate. :)

      2. ‘Well at drying track, just not beating your fastets time in particular yellow section is not enought, thanks to huge evolution of the track – anyone can drive almost full speed (as Rosberg) showed. ‘

        Sorry mate, but that’s the opposite of what is true. Due to track evolution, cars were able to go a lot faster than in previous laps, so to avoid setting a personal best in the relevant yellow flag sector (not to be confused with sector 2), everyone had to lift off even more than they would’ve needed to in unchanged conditions.

        ‘Does anyone know how exactly is “the readiness to stop” under double yellow defined?’

        There is no definition given in the rules. It would be common sense to read that as ‘drive slowly enough to be able to come to a halt on the part of the track you’re able to see when you start braking’, so that you’d be able to avoid hitting a car standing on the track as soon as you can see it. This doesn’t have to be extremely slow, as F1 cars have tremendously strong brakes. They can slow down from 300 kph to 100 kph in little more than 100 metres, so it wouldn’t even necessarily be dangerous to go 200 kph under yellow flags when you have a clear line of sight on at least 100 metres of the track ahead of you.

        1. My apologies for the first part, I maybe concentrated on language side to much and lost the meaning of whole thing. :(

    3. I’m not sure what Rosberg is on about, he got a purple middle sector on his pole lap, so I’m not sure why he thinks he was slower than in the same sector on the previous lap.

      And this “very very big lift” is non existent. Watching the on-board you can see he lifts as he approaches the yellows but is back on full throttle before he even reaches them. Hence why he caught up all the drivers ahead so quick, because they obeyed the rules.

    4. So during the week the FIA tried to convince the drivers of how important introducing the Halo would be. You know, safety first… But on saturday they let a driver keep his time when he clearly did not slow down enough on a DOUBLE YELLOW sector. You know, safety first…

      1. @edmarques Hypocrisy and double standards is the name of the game with the FIA.

    5. I’m actually so disappointed in F1 today. Not for the result but for the outcome of it and what it actually means for safety in the sport. Yellow flags are there to warn the drivers of an issue on track ahead. The FIA have let it get to a point where a slight lift is considered enough but in my opinion, it is this attitude which contributed to the loss of Bianchi. A yellow flag has never meant “have a slight lift” and the very fact that a driver has to rely on the data to show they lifted is an absolute farce, it should be obvious from the cameras alone. In this case, its double waved yellows and to say its ok because a driver lifted into a corner they lift for anyway is just beyond me. What makes this worse is they haven’t even bothered to investigate it. The flags are the most important area when it comes to safety. Increase run off areas, introduce Halo, do as many things as you like but if the drivers don’t listen to the flags then a marshall or driver will be injured or killed in future. This isn’t a dig at Rosberg as while I think he did wrong today I know all drivers do this. But this was an opportunity to stamp home the importance of actually obeying the yellows and not just showing a slight lift, just like with Hulkenberg a couple of races ago.

      1. +1. Very well said.

      2. Here we have the caption of the day.

    6. Question is, should Hamilton have done the same? Could have lifted a little at the yellow flags regardless of alonsos car

      1. No he would have been penalised, drivers should not be in a position when they could’ve lifted a little at the yellow flags. Seems like Nico has got away with it, but it should not be something the sport should be encouraging!

        1. Nico just been called to see the stewards so he might not have got away with it just yet.

    Comments are closed.