Nico Rosberg’s second place finish in Sunday’s British Grand Prix is at risk after the FIA confirmed that it would be investigating radio messages to his car towards the end of the race at Silverstone.
Rosberg battled his way up to second place heading into the closing stages of the race, trailing Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by six seconds.
However, Rosberg lost three seconds in a single lap, 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.
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.”
Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe spoke to NBCSN’s Will Buxton about the messages after the race.
“I don’t really want to comment on it too much because it’s being reviewed by the stewards,” Lowe said.
“It’s a question of whether it’s a permitted message or not.
“I don’t really want to comment at this stage. There’s no precedent for radio calls being reviewed by the stewards.”
The FIA stewards will meet with Rosberg at 4pm local time in the UK (11am ET).
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.”