Nico Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo have been cleared after overtaking other cars under a red flag.
Rosberg passed Daniil Kvyat and Ricciardo overtook Fernando Alonso when the red flag was shown after Felipe Massa crashed during first practice.
The stewards issued the following explanation for why Rosberg was not penalised, stating that the very low speed of Kvyat’s car had been a factor in their decision:
Over a minute after the red flag was displayed, car 6 [Rosberg] overtook car 26 [Kvyat] under red flags at turn 15.
Having reviewed data from several cars in the same area of the track, several angles of video and having spoken to the driver concerned, the stewards determined that: the driver of car 6 had driven the lap fully within the regulations and was travelling at a safe and reasonable speed throughout; that at the moment of the overtake, car 26 pulled fully off line and slowed to as low as 38kph in what appeared to be a very unusual manner, in an area of the track that was visibly completely clear; and that the driver of car 6 took reasonable avoiding action of a car, that the stewards accept he reasonably believed to be in difficulty, consistent with Art. 40.8(h) of the Sporting Regulations relating to Safety Car periods, whereby a pass is allowed in what has to be considered an acceptable circumstance; that the driver of car 6 slowed down to as low as 39kph immediately having passed car 26, reasonably reacting to the situation and continued to proceed with extreme caution.
In the case of Ricciardo they stated the overtaking move happened very soon after the red flag was displayed, and ruled as follows:
During FP1 car 3 [Ricciardo] overtook car 14 [Alonso] shortly after the red flag was displayed before turn six.
Having reviewed data from both cars, several angles of video and spoken to the driver concerned, the stewards determined that: the pass occurred within tenths of a second of the red flag signal; that car 3 was approaching a car that was travelling significantly slower even before the red flag was displayed and therefore at the moment of the red flag the driver of car 3 was concerned with safely passing car 14; and that having seen the red flag indication on his steering wheel and on the track that he then took all reasonable actions to comply with the regulations and proceed in a safe manner.
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