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F1 Malaysian GP: Wolff slams ‘nonsense’ Rosberg penalty

Nico Rosberg 'accepts' his penalty for contact with Kimi Raikkonen, but his Mercedes F1 boss brands it as 'nonsense'.
RESULTS: Malaysian Grand Prix – Race results

Toto Wolff has slammed the decision to give Nico Rosberg a ten-second time penalty during the Malaysian Grand Prix as 'nonsense' following his contact with Kimi Raikkonen.

Rosberg was charging back through the field after Sebastian Vettel tapped him into a spin on the first lap when he made a robust pass on Raikkonen at turn two on lap 37 of 56.

Cutting to the inside of the corner as an unawares Raikkonen turned in, the pair clashed wheels – causing minor floor damage to the Ferrari – and allowing Rosberg to snatch fourth place.

However, stewards would take a dim view of Rosberg's conduct, handing the title contender a ten second penalty to be added to his race time. Despite this, Rosberg would go on to build a 13secs lead over Raikkonen behind to maintain the position and retain what would become a third place finish.

POINTS: F1 World Championship Standings after the Malaysian GP

Even so, it is a punishment Mercedes F1 boss Wolff dismissed as 'nonsense' and against the spirit of the team's own rules to allow its drivers to race one another.

“The penalty is just complete nonsense,” he said. “Over a couple of months ago we decided altogether that we wanted to allow the racing between all the cars and if it wasn't 100 percent clear that someone was at fault then we would let them race against each other … and then this. I don't know, it is for others to comment.”

With Raikkonen proving typically taciturn about the incident – saying he didn't think it made a difference to the end result -, Rosberg nonetheless says he 'accepted' the penalty.

“I accept it. I'm fortunate that it didn't cost me a position in the race, of course. I had to give it everything lap after lap again in the end there to re-gap that 10 seconds to make sure we had a 10 second gap, and at the same time save the engine because of Lewis's problem. We were a bit hesitant to run it all out until the end so it's a bit of a two-pronged.”

It is Rosberg's fourth in-race penalty of the 2016 season after he collided with Lewis Hamilton in Austria, was informed on how to manage a gearbox problem at Silverstone and eased Max Verstappen off course in Germany.

Rosberg heads into the final five races with a 23 point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the standings after his main rival suffered a technical DNF in Sepang.

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Liam48

October 03, 2016 3:58 PM

I agree with Wolff, the move is what we've been wanting from Rosberg for years, ok there was a bit of contact, so what, there is contact in all racing, there is more in MotoGP racing and no one moans. If I'm honest I'm disappointed in the people on here claiming the move deserved a bigger penalty or that it was a stupid move, these people aren't fans of racing, it was an aggressive move but not dangerous. I'm also disappointed that it was Derek Warwick ex F1 & BTCC racer that was one of stewards that gave out the penalty as he should be used to aggressive moves. The more the stewards hand out these pointless penalties and don't do anything about silly defensive driving, then they will kill the sport and it will be more of a procession.

richard

October 03, 2016 4:21 PM

Liam48: I'm disappointed in the people on here claiming the move deserved a bigger penalty or that it was a stupid move, these people aren't fans of racing, it was an aggressive move but not dangerous.
sorry, but i am a big fan of racing and still say that it was a stupid move. nico was in a faster car and was shortly to get drs, so possibly he saved a second or two by his impetuous move



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