Mercedes has been handed a reprimand for covering Nico Rosberg’s car during first practice for the British Grand Prix on Friday at Silverstone.
Rosberg stopped out on track during FP1 with a suspected loss of hydraulic pressure, prompting Mercedes to change the gearbox on his car once it had been returned to the garage.
Whilst en route, the Mercedes crew opted to cover the car with a black car blanket in a bid to prevent rival teams from getting a view of some of the W06 Hybrid’s more sensitive details.
However, doing so is only permitted when the car has sustained some kind of damage out on track, which Rosberg had a not.
“During P1 at 10:28 members of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team covered the underside, rear diffuser area and the front wing of car number 06 [Rosberg] when it was brought back to the paddock after it having stopped on the circuit due to a mechanical problem,” technical delegate Jo Bauer wrote.
“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.”
The stewards responded by handing Mercedes a reprimand for using car covers without permission, as confirmed by the team on Twitter during second practice.
That aside, it was business as usual for Mercedes at Silverstone on Friday as Rosberg topped the timesheets in both practice sessions. Although Lewis Hamilton was only able to finish fourth in FP2, the advantage does appear to still remain with the German team heading into this weekend’s race.