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

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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.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.