Rosberg put up a long fight to recover from the first corner incident with Vettel, but practically only faced a hard battle once. While most of the overtakes until that point had been relatively easy, mostly using the DRS on the straights, Nico was forced to come up aggressive and creative in order to take Kimi Raikkonen.
Nico was awarded a 10 second penalty for that, which could do little to take away 3rd place from him, as the German had managed to ease away from the Finn by a wider margin when crossing the finish line.
F1 GRIP takes on the incident and delivers its own verdict…
Rosberg stays on the outside of turn 1, keeping two options for the second, depending on what Raikkonen will do. While the Finn opts to go wide at entry for a better exit, Rosberg holds his line aiming for the brakes of turn 2. At this point, there is no actual reason not to try the dive, although the move is indeed risky. He’s just got to hold his inside line to keep it safe.
Being just by the apex, Kimi decides to turn in but Rosberg is already in place. How Nico has managed to get there is irrelevant at this exact point. Kimi has to realize the spot is taken and take evasive action. However… what happens a bit later is crucial if we were to judge whether Rosberg has gained the golden spot on merit.
As is evident from the heli cam view, Rosberg drives just a bit wider than he should, with the tail popping out. This is when the cars collide and Kimi loses part of his front wing and possibly acquires some floor damage as well.
Rosberg’s move was not the real issue. He was perfectly entitled to try and pass, but should have made sure the risk was all on him. Kimi’s damage was detrimental in leading to the stewards decision on Nico’s punishment and we would go by that as well. However, the 10-second penalty was controversial, since it was not certain to affect the result as intended. If the stewards think a driver should be punished for a move on track, they should at least ensure that the penalty has a tangible effect in somehow restoring the race result to its fair version.