New controversy as Nico Rosberg escapes penalty for missing the chicane in Canada
Mercedes driver extended his lead of the race after leaving the track
By Sky Sports Online. Last Updated: 09/06/14 6:03pm
The Sky Sports F1 pundits have expressed their surprise that Nico Rosberg escaped a penalty after missing the chicane as he was challenged for the lead of the Canadian GP by Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The mistake enabled Rosberg to set his fastest lap of the race, gaining more than half a second over Hamilton, as they pair jousted for track position at the front of the field.
When Hamilton subsequently closed up on Rosberg, he was advised by his race engineer to drive cautiously on the basis that the German was under investigation. But despite the widespread expectation that Rosberg, who also escaped punishment for his session-ending mistake in qualifying in Monaco two weeks ago, would suffer a penalty, the stewards instead opted to issue the World Championship leader 'a final warning'.
Rosberg cuts the chicane under pressure from Hamilton
While the legalities of such an incident are not directly referred to in the regulations, with convention only dictating that a driver should give back a position if he passes another car after bursting the seams of the track, there was still scope in the rulebook for Rosberg to have been punished by the Montreal stewards.
Article 16.1 f) of the Sporting Regulations states that a driver may be penalised if he 'illegitimately prevented a legitimate overtaking manoeuvre by a driver', while the all-encompassing clause 20.2 declares: 'Drivers must use the track at all times. For the avoidance of doubt the white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not. Should a car leave the track the driver may rejoin, however, this may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any advantage.'
Upon rejoining the track, Rosberg immediately sped up, thereby setting his quickest lap of the entire grand prix.
However, while both Johnny Herbert and Martin Brundle felt that Rosberg was lucky to avoid censure, former World Champion Damon Hill argued that a warning was legitimate.
Watch the incident above and judge for yourselves...