Mercedes have announced this evening that they will not be appealing Nico Rosberg’s demotion in the British Grand prix. The reigning world champions had until Thursday evening to protest against the ten-second time penalty, but have already decided against such action.
Mercedes, in their statement, accepted the interpretation of the regulation, the steward’s decision and the subsequent penalty. This is in complete contrast to their approach immediately post race when both Nico Rosberg and team principal Toto Wolff profusely argued that there was nothing wrong with the offending radio communication.
This leads to a number of potential questions to be asked after this sudden reversal in intention to appeal. Is it simply as they have stated, that they accept the interpretation, and plan to continue discussions with the relevant parties about “potential over-regulation in the sport”?
Or is it perhaps that they feel it would be unfair on Lewis Hamilton to follow an appeal, when he suffered in Baku (Azerbaijan) because of their refusal to communicate over the team radio.
Either way, Rosberg has now suffered a post race penalty at both Austria and Silverstone, whilst his world championship lead is now down to a solitary point.
If momentum exists in motor sport, then it certainly seems to currently be with Hamilton. Whilst Rosberg, has to be careful not to become viewed as the bad boy of Formula 1 after he was booed on the podium at Silverstone. The next two races which take place back-to-back on July 24 and July 31 in Hungary and Germany (Rosberg’s and Mercedes home race), present an opportunity for both Rosberg and the team to stop attracting negative headlines off the track and to focus on a world title race which promises to be enthralling until the last.