Rosberg handed time penalty for radio rule breach, drops to 3rd in British GP

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Nico Rosberg has been handed a 10-second time after Mercedes was deemed to have breached the Formula 1 sporting regulations during Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

While running second in the closing stages of the race, Rosberg lost three seconds in a single lap before reporting to his team that he had a gearbox issue.

Mercedes responded by telling him which setting to put his gearbox in, as well as informing him to avoid using seventh gear by shifting through it.

At the beginning of the season, the FIA introduced new radio rules that were supposed to place a greater onus on the drivers to manage their own races, limiting the instructions that can be given.

After the race, the FIA issued a statement calling Rosberg before the stewards over an “alleged breach of Article 27.1 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations, that the driver must drive the car alone and unaided.”

Mercedes has stated that it believes the messages to have been within the regulations, as it would have resulted in a terminal failure for Rosberg.

“It was a very critical problem,” Rosberg said. “I was stuck in seventh gear and about to stop on track.”

When asked if he was confident the messages were within the rules, Rosberg replied: “Yes.”

However, after a lengthy meeting following the race, the FIA stewards deemed Mercedes to have broken the rules, resulting in a 10-second penalty for Rosberg.

As a result, he drops to third place in the final classification behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. His championship lead also now stands at just a single point heading to the next race in Hungary.

“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,” the stewards wrote.

“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 Article 27.1 of the Sporting Regulations, that the driver must drive the car alone and unaided.”

UPDATE 13:52 ET – Mercedes states intention to appeal decision

Mercedes has lodged its notice of intention to appeal the decision taken by the stewards, making the result of the British Grand Prix provisional.

By lodging this notice, Mercedes now has more time in which to fully assess and analyze the radio messages, with the stewards’ statement making clear that not all of the calls were in breach of the regulations.

The issue appears to surround the call for Rosberg to shift through seventh gear (the last line of the transcript below).

According to the FIA, a decision on the appeal must be ratified within 96 hours by Mercedes’ national sporting authority – in Mercedes’ case, the ASN of Germany, the Deutscher Motor Sport Bund.

Mercedes-to-Rosberg radio transcript

Rosberg: “Gearbox problem!”

Mercedes: “Chassis default 0, 1.”

Mercedes: “Avoid seventh gear, Nico.”

Rosberg: “What does that mean? I have to shift through it?

Mercedes: “Affirm, Nico, affirm. You have to shift through it.”

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.