Mercedes GP has been fined €10,000 after Nico Rosberg’s collision with Jaime Alguersuari in FP2 in Korea – but not because of the crash itself.
Rosberg lost control at Turn One and slid straight on, striking the Toro Rosso driver, who was coming out of the pits.
He has been found guilty under Article 16.1, which means causing a collision. However unusually he did not get a penalty, the stewards even citing his “good record.”
The stewards said that they had regard “for the extenuating circumstances involving the pit exit, the wet track and the telemetry which indicated the driver of car 8 was on full braking from the time where he apparently noticed car 19, and further, taking into account Mr Rosberg’s good record during his years in F1, decide to impose new penalty.”
The fine in fact relates to how long it took Rosberg to go and see the stewards. They found out from the internet that he had already talked to the media, which is his usual schedule after FP2, rather than going straight to see them.
He breached Appendix B, Obligation of C0-operation, of the sporting code.
He spoke to German TV and then to the English language contingent, which comprised the BBC’s Ted Kravitz, Autosport’s Edd Straw, and this blog. Edd’s story alerted the stewards to the fact that Nico had been a bit tardy, and also contained a quote from Nico in which he said he thought Alguersuari would back off and leave him space to get past without contact.
He said: “I thought he was going to stop a little bit more to let me go through, but then he didn’t and by the time I realised that, it was too late. It was just unfortunate.”
The stewards took that to mean that he could have avoided the accident by going behind Alguersuari.
Half of the fine is suspended for 12 months.