Mercedes' Nico Rosberg has been handed an official reprimand for slowing excessively on track during Saturday morning's hour-long Free Practice 3 session.

Stewards investigated the incident after Rosberg's car was seen to slow significantly between turn 14 and turn 15 just after the halfway point of the final practice before the qualifying session.

In the official penalty notice issued by the FIA covering the incident, the stewards noted that Rosberg slowed to less than 90km/h when Charles Pic was closing in the Caterham at full speed on the front straight.

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"The speed differential was approximately 200km/h at the point where car 20 needed to decide on which side to pass," said the stewards, which this week include Garry Connelly and Emanuele Pirro.

"The driver of car 9 conceded that he should have more clearly indicated to car 20 on which side he could pass, by moving to one side," the stewards added.

As a result of the stewards' investigation, Rosberg was handed hi second official reprimand of the season. His first came at Silverstone in June when he was given a reprimand for failing to slowing sufficiently for yellow flags on his way to winning the British Grand Prix.

The matter of reprimands had been in the spotlight in recent weeks, with Mark Webber being the first driver to trigger the automatic ten-place grid penalty for receiving a total of three reprimands during the course of the season following his actions running back onto the track at Singapore to pick up a lift back to the pits from Fernando Alonso.

The stewards deemed his actions dangerous and gave both Webber and Alonso a reprimand. In Webber's case that made three in total and so he ended up dropping down to 13th place on the grid for last weekend's Korean Grand Prix.

Having amassed two reprimands so far in 2013, Rosberg now needs to be very careful for the rest of this weekend and for the remaining four Grand Prix events of the season to ensure that he doesn't pick up a third, which would see him likewise penalised.

This weekend, two drivers - Caterham's Charles Pic and Marussia's Jules Bianchi - have been served with ten-place grid penalties for reaching three reprimands during the course of the season.