Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner has criticised the radio limits following Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg’s penalty.
The German driver received a ten-second penalty after the team was deemed to be in breach of article 27.1 of the sporting regulations which says that a driver must drive “alone and unaided” after the British Grand Prix on Sunday, after they gave Rosberg instructions on how to cope with a gearbox problem on his car, by instructing him to shift quickly through seventh gear in order to solve the problem.
The new boundaries of what can and can’t be said over radio to the drivers were fully put into place at the beginning of this season after being partially enforced over the past year or so. The rule comes after it was felt that the messages to the drivers were similar to that of ‘driver coaching’ as engineers were telling their particular driver when and where they were loosing time to other drivers around them.
The penalty given transferred Rosberg from second into third place, swapping places with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, with teammate Lewis Hamilton now only 1 point behind in the World Championship.
Although Rosberg’s penalty has benefitted Red Bull, Horner still sympathised with the rival team.
“The rule is rubbish,” Horner spoke. “It doesn’t make a great deal of sense but the rules are the rules.
“The cars are technically very complex and you can understand why Mercedes would want to give that message to keep their driver running.
“The question going forward is are these rules right for F1? That’s a different question.”
With Mercedes choosing not to appeal to the FIA following Rosberg’s punishment, it will be interesting to see how other drivers and teams approach the rule in the future.