Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff believes that the 10-second time penalty given to Nico Rosberg for his overtake on Kimi Raikkonen during Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix was “complete nonsense”.
Rosberg was left to fight his way back through the field after being tagged by Sebastian Vettel at Turn 1, eventually finishing third.
Rosberg pulled off a particularly aggressive overtake on Raikkonen at Turn 2 when battling over fourth place, with the stewards believing the German to have gone too far.
The decision to hand Rosberg a 10-second time penalty came as a surprise, for although the overtake was aggressive, both drivers were able to continue without damage.
The penalty ultimately had no impact on the end result, with Rosberg finishing over 10 seconds clear of Raikkonen to ensure that he could keep third place.
“For Nico, it was a great recovery drive after what happened in Turn 1,” Wolff said.
“You can look at the first corner two ways: he was unlucky to be hit by Sebastian but at the same time lucky the car did not sustain more damage. Then, he did a brilliant recovery drive back to third place with no mistakes.
“As for the penalty, I don’t want it to be our focus and it didn’t ultimately cost him any places. But it was a complete nonsense.
“We all decided that we wanted to see racing and that, if no driver was clearly at fault, then we should let them race. Then you get this. But it’s for others to comment and not my main priority right now.
“The task is to pick ourselves back up for Suzuka. One of the greatest qualities of our group is how we come back from defeat even stronger than before. We will do that again now, in time for Japan next weekend.”