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Horner: F1 radio instructions now ‘fair game’ after lenient Rosberg penalty


Red Bull Racing team principal has questioned the viability of Formula 1’s rules restricting radio instructions following Nico Rosberg’s penalty in Sunday’s British Grand Prix.

In the closing stages of the race at Silverstone, Rosberg reported an issue with his gearbox that Mercedes helped him to fix by issuing instructions over its team radio.

The messages were deemed to have breached article 27.1 of the F1 sporting regulations that state drivers must drive “alone and unaided” in the car.

Rosberg was hit with a 10-second penalty after the race, dropping him to third behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Despite seeing his driver gain from the penalty, Horner believes that the lenient action taken may open the floodgates for similar messages through the rest of the season.

“If it’s just a five-second penalty or a reprimand, it’s fair game for the rest of the year,” Horner told reporters, including Reuters, before the stewards confirmed Rosberg’s 10-second penalty.

“There will be loads of messages that will take into account whether it’s worth five seconds or not.

“There’s loads of information that we would like to give the drivers but we can’t.

“The question going forward is ‘are these rules right for Formula 1?'”

The rules restricting radio communications were introduced at the beginning of the 2016 season with the intention of placing a greater onus on drivers in races.

Despite calling the rule “rubbish”, Horner believes it was evident that Mercedes broke the regulations through its messages.

“The rules are the rules, and on two counts it sounds like instructions were given that breached that protocol,” Horner said.

“One was the switch change that was made and the second was the instruction how to drive the car with the seventh gear issue that they had.”

Mercedes has stated its intention to appeal the penalty given by the stewards, and has until Thursday afternoon to ratify the appeal before it is taken any further.

Robert Wickens shares more positive strides toward recovery in new video

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Robert Wickens has made massive steps since sustaining a spinal cord injury in an Aug. 19, 2018 crash at Pocono Raceway.

Since the accident, Wickens publicly has shared his recovery, often uploading videos of his physical rehabilitation on Twitter.

In his most recent update on Wednesday, Wickens shared a video of him walking on a treadmill. Fellow NTT IndyCar Series competitor Tony Kannan, who competes in triathlons during his spare time, also was visible running on the treadmill behind Wickens.

“When I am @TonyKannan [sic] age, I hope to run as fast as him…” Wickens tweeted. “Today was a good day!”

Wickens, who will turn 31 on March 13, first made his return to the IndyCar paddock in last year’s season opener in St. Petersburg. Since then, he’s made a return to the driver’s seat, piloting a specialized Acura NSX prior to the start of last year’s IndyCar race in his hometown of Toronto.

In September, Wickens fulfilled a vow to his wife Karli, by standing with her during their wedding. The new husband and wife also danced together during their reception.

Should Wickens fully recover to resume racing, Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt has stated that the team’s No. 6 entry will be available for him to drive. Wickens continues to remain as a “driver coach and consultant” for the team.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter