Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff has repeated his call to rethink the restrictions on what can be communicated to drivers during races amidst an appeal against a ten-second penalty for Nico Rosberg following the British Grand Prix.
Rosberg finished the Silverstone race second on the road to Lewis Hamilton, but was later given a ten-second time penalty that dropped him to third place as punishment for breaching rules on what is permitted to be communicated during a race.
With the furore prompted when Mercedes 'gave instructions to Rosberg that weren't permitted under the Sporting Regulations' as he battled a gearbox issue, Wolff confirmed that the German was unlikely to make the finish if action wasn't taken even though he doesn't believe any rule was breached.
It comes a month after Wolff urged a rethink of the rules in the wake of Lewis Hamilton's struggles during the Baku Grand Prix, a call he has subsequently repeated as Mercedes take Rosberg's penalty to appeal.
“We said we are just about to have a failure, and we wanted to communicate it and we couldn't. So you see those rules may need a rethink. Dry and clear between the FIA and the teams to maybe go more into detail what's allowed or not. Because not communicating at all when you could just block the radio off and throw it out of the car, I think this is part of driving for a long time but it's just to be discussed.
“I'll read you the point no.2 the driver aids – strict enforcements of article 27.1. The following is a list of permitted messages. No. 2: Indication of a critical problem with the car, any message of this sort may only be used if failure of a component is imminent and potentially terminal. So in my opinion that was the basis of our decision.”
For many, the penalty will be seen as setting precedent for future transgressions, particularly if the penalty would be considered worthwhile if the communication is deemed to have prevented a driver from retiring.
As it stands, Rosberg's third place result means he holds just a single point lead over Lewis Hamilton heading to the Hungarian Grand Prix.