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GP Week : Issue 66
Qualif Rosberg avoids in-lap penalty NICO Rosberg avoided a second penalty in two races at the Japanese Grand Prix, after a strange set of circumstances saw him break the rules by lapping too quickly under the Safety Car. The German's lap-time allowed him enough of an advantage to leap up into fifth position in the running order, two spots higher than he had been running in the normal order before the second pit- stops had begun. No penalty was awarded, however, after it was discovered that an override on his Williams steering wheel had made it impossible for Rosberg to know what time he should have been running under the Safety Car. "The Race Director reported to the Stewards that car number 16, Nico Rosberg, exceeded the time delta from when the "Safety [Car] Deployed" message was displayed until crossing the Safety Car line. The Stewards met with the driver and the team representatives and considered the telemetry data, GPs records, timekeeping and video evidence. This evidence showed a "low fuel" message on the drivers display had overridden the time delta information preventing the driver from being able to accurately follow the timing information. "However, the telemetry data shows that the driver from a safety point of view had reacted adequately to the yellow flags and safety car boards. In view of this the Stewards intend to take no further action." With Rosberg's lack of penalty, BrawnGP remained just half a point away from securing the 2009 Constructors' Championship, and as such the conspiracy theorists are likely to have a field day. 26