Mercedes reported to the stewards for a breach of sporting regulations in Silverstone FP1


Having set the early pace in FP1, Nico Rosberg was ordered to “stop the car” on just his 6th lap of the day. Ironically he parked it near where he was forced to retire from the 2014 race due to gearbox failure.

The gremlins were in the hydraulics and hopes were bleak that the German would make it back out before the end of the 90 minute session.

Meanwhile Lewis Hamilton had suffered an early spin as he got to grips with the stiffer suspension settings tested in Austria. The world champion then blitzed the Northamptonshire circuit with a time of 1:35.536, then 1:35.391 on his following lap a jaw dropping time in the 1:34’s.

On his final run Hamilton clocked a 1:34.344, a full second quicker than Rosberg’s FP1 table topping time in 2014.

The Toro Rosso pair were on it too. Once again demonstrating that Red Bull’s problems are much more of their own making than Christian Horner and Helmut Marko would have us believe.

The impressive Max Verstappen – who revealed this week at times he turns off his dashboard electronics so he can get a ‘gut feel’ for what the car is doing – was third quickest in the session, though just over 1:25s slower than the leader.

Sainz Jnr was fourth for most of the session until Kimi Raikkonen popped in a quick lap towards the end of the final 30 minutes.

Three development drivers were on show this morning and Suzie Wolff in the Williams was the quickest in P13 with a 1:37:242, followed closely by Joylon Palmer just two hundredths slower.

Marciello in the Sauber was no slouch, with a 1:37:372 – a whole tenth and a bit slower than the Lotus and Williams rookies.

It was another day of woe for Big Ron and his charges Jenson and Fernando. They managed 10 and 12 laps respectively however were P17 and P18 – just ahead of the Manor drivers and around four seconds of Mercedes pace.

The arrival six months late of Force India’s 2015 car did nothing to support Bob Fernley’s belief that the Silverstone based team can hunt down Red Bull. Hulkenberg was best placed in P9, though behind both Ricciardo and Kvyat and almost two seconds off the pace.

The with a few minutes to go, Rosberg’s car was repaired and despite complaining on his out lap that it didn’t feel ‘quite right’, the German driver got the hammer down putting in a lap just 0.040s quicker than Hamilton’s best. He followed this up with another faster lap and topped the session with a time of 1:34:274.

This lap time is quicker than any from last years event.

Following the session, the FIA technical delegate reported Mercedes for what he believes to be a breach of the sporting regulations. As Rosberg’s car arrived behind the pit garages on the flat bed truck, Mercedes mechanics climbed aboard and clipped a sheet to the underneath of the car. This concealed any detail of the floor pan from the cameras when the car was lifted from the truck.

However, article 27.4 states – “During the entire Event, no screen, cover or other obstruction which in any way obscures any part of a car will be allowed at any time in the paddock, garages, pit lane or grid, unless it is clear any such covers are needed solely for mechanical reasons, which could, for example, include protecting against fire.”

The incident has been referred to the stewards a meeting with the team is now scheduled for 1pm BST.

Baur commented: “As the car hasn’t suffered any kind of accident damage this in my opinion is a breach of Article 27.4 of the 2015 Formula One Sporting Regulations and I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.”

FP2 starts at BST 14:00 and the long run pace of the cars should become evident, together with the first runs on the softer of the two Pirelli compounds available this weekend.

FP1 Results:

# Driver Ctry Team Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:34.274 12
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.344 0.070 26
3 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:35.530 1.256 18
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:35.588 1.314 21
5 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:35.669 1.395 33
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:35.739 1.465 17
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:35.818 1.544 26
8 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:35.876 1.602 22
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:36.157 1.883 28
10 Felipe Massa Williams 1:36.469 2.195 23
11 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:36.855 2.581 20
12 Sergio Perez Force India 1:36.889 2.615 26
13 Susie Wolff Williams 1:37.242 2.968 19
14 Jolyon Palmer Lotus 1:37.262 2.988 26
15 Raffaele Marciello Sauber 1:37.372 3.098 17
16 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:38.080 3.806 8
17 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:38.222 3.948 12
18 Jenson Button McLaren 1:38.860 4.586 10
19 Will Stevens Manor 1:38.981 4.707 23
20 Roberto Merhi Manor 1:40.477 6.203 23

6 responses to “Mercedes reported to the stewards for a breach of sporting regulations in Silverstone FP1

  1. That’s some mighty assumption to say the spin was caused by him getting use to the stiffer suspension. Was that an attempt to link it to him not being at the test?

    From what was shown, he ran wide on the astroturf and then had a tank slapper.

      • I hate to get all tinfoil hat here, but doesn’t anyone else think that Toro Rosso’s form of late might be a concerted effort by Renault (and Red Bull) to make sure Toro Rosso finish above Force India & co. to ensure that there are two Renault-powered teams in the Strategy Group? Surely having that extra voting power would undoubtedly be a benefit for Renault as a whole, and because of that be useful for teams running their power units too.

  2. You’d have to say Rosberg looked beaten a few races in, even before Austria I still thought it might be a blip, but half way through FP2 and I’m starting to think we may actually have a come back on our hands. Even as a fan of Hamilton, If Rosberg keeps this up, then he deserves it.

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