Nico Rosberg has been punished with a 10 second time penalty for a breach of the radio communication rules during the British Grand Prix, dropping him from second to third behind Max Verstappen.
Mercedes has since confirmed it will appeal the ruling.
The German finished second behind Lewis Hamilton on the road having struggled with gearbox problems on his Mercedes in the closing stages.
With Mercedes keen to avoid a potentially crucial DNF in the midst of the title battle, a radio exchange took place that informed Rosberg of the issue and how to get around it [transcript below], potentially putting the team in breach of the rules regarding transmissions that the FIA deems as 'aiding the driver'.
After lengthy deliberation, stewards decided that though Mercedes was permitted in giving him information about the gearbox problem, the message of how to get around it - by shifting through the broken seventh gear - wasn't allowed.
As such, stewards handed down a 10secs time penalty, one the puts him behind Max Verstappen on the results board.
"Having considered the matter extensively, the Stewards determined that the team gave some instructions to the driver that were specifically permitted under Technical Directive 014-16," read the official FIA statement.
"However, the Stewards determined that the team then went further and gave instructions to the driver that were not permitted under the Technical Directive, and were in Breach of Art. 27.1 of the Sporting Regulations, that the driver must drive the car alone and unaided."
Stewards: Nigel Mansell, Tim Mayer, Nish Shetty, Dennis Carter
The decision subsequently has ramifications for the title battle, with Rosberg's original four point lead whittled down to just a single point heading to the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The radio discussions went as follows (Lap 46):
Driver default zero-one. Chassis default zero-one. Chassis default zero-one.
Avoid seventh gear Nico. Avoid seventh gear.
What does that mean? I mean have to shift through it?
Affirm Nico. You have to shift through it. Affirm. You need to shift through it.