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Wolff: Rosberg penalty for Raikkonen overtake ‘complete nonsense’

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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.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.