Max Verstappen scored his second podium finish in seven days at the British Grand Prix, the Dutch teenager finishing third but being promoted to second place behind Lewis Hamilton after Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg was handed a post-race 10-second time penalty for contravening radio messaging regulations. Daniel Ricciardo capped an excellent weekend for the team at its second home race of the season with a fourth-place finish.
With heavy rain falling across Silverstone in the build-up to the race, this year's British Grand Prix began under the Safety Car with all drivers on full wet Pirelli tyres.
The track began to dry quickly, however, and after five laps the field was released to race, with a swarm of drivers making straight for the pit lane to shed their starting wets for intermediates. The top four cars, Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, team-mate Nico Rosberg, Max and Daniel stayed out, however, avoiding chaotic scenes in the pit lane as drivers desperately tried to take on new tyres and emerge ahead of rivals.
The move on the outside at Becketts was fun.
Daniel made his stop for inters at the end of the next tour but he soon found himself a place further back as Force India's Sergio Perez stopped a lap later and emerged ahead of the Aussie. It was the beginning of a frustrating phase of the race as he found himself bottled up behind the Mexican as ahead the leaders carved a gap.
Those leaders, Hamilton, Rosberg and Max all pitted on the next lap and over the course of the next eight laps Max began to reel Rosberg in. On lap 15 he caught the German and executed a superb passing move around the outside through the high-speed Becketts corner, to the delight of the Silverstone crowd.
The crossover point was being reached and further back Sebastian Vettel was the first to move to slick tyres, pitting for medium Pirellis on lap 15. Vettel was soon in trouble, however, the four-time champion spinning in lingering damp conditions at Turn One. It dropped him down the field, though he eventually recovered to ninth place at the flag, despite a five-second time penalty for forcing Felipe Massa off track as they pair battled for P8.
Mercedes brought their drivers in for medium tyres on lap 17, with Daniel also stopping on the same lap for the same compound. Max followed a lap later and the top four would remain on those sets until the flag.
OUR RACE IN NUMBERS:
- 3 – This is the third career podium finishes for Max after a win in Spain and P2 in Austria.
- 5 – Today's race saw Daniel take his fifth fourth place finish of the 2016 season.
- 9 – Just nine points separate the team from Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship. Provisionally we now have 195 points to Ferrari's 204.
Max then set about cementing himself into second place but as the stint wore on he begun to struggle with the rear of his car and Rosberg closed the gap. However, as he has shown in previous races, Max is no easy target and the Dutchman put in a superb defence of the position, repeatedly fending off attacks from Rosberg.
But with the Mercedes man finding better grip Max eventually ran out of defensive options and Rosberg made his way past with a move around the outside through Stowe.
I think for the team and for the points it was really good.
With seemingly comfortable gaps established in the closing stages the race seemed set to finished as it had started, but a handful of laps from home, Rosberg got on the radio to inform his team that he was experiencing gearbox issues.
In the radio exchanges that followed Rosberg was given advice on how to cope with the problem and race control soon posted the message that the stewards were placing Rosberg under investigation for potentially contravening regulations on what kind of assistance a driver can receive from the pit wall.
And though Rosberg held second position to the flag ahead of Max, the post-race investigation saw the FIA stewards rule that the advice he received breached Article 27.1 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations, which states that "the driver must drive the car alone and unaided".
The result was that Rosberg was handed a 10-second time penalty, which when applied dropped him behind Max in the classification.
Daniel, meanwhile, finished fourth to earn the team more valuable points, With Kimi Raikkonen fifth and with Vettel in ninth, the team now lies just six points behind Ferrari in the battle for second place in the Constructors' Championship.
Behind Raikkonen, Perez took sixth place ahead of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, with Carlos Sainz eighth ahead of Vettel and tenth-placed Daniil Kvyat in the second Toro Rosso.
According to reports Mercedes has lodged its intention to appeal against the penalty and has 96 hours to determine whether it will follow through with an official appeal.