Stopwatch failure adds to Rosberg's woes

01/08/2016
NEWS STORY

Mercedes has admitted that a stopwatch failure added to Nico Rosberg's Hockenheim horror.

Following a disastrous start that handed the lead, and possibly the 2016 title, to teammate Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg's German Grand Prix took a further turn for the worse when he didn't.

The German was handed a 5s time penalty after the stewards deemed he had forced Max Verstappen off the road, even though the Mercedes driver insisted that he was on full lock.

When he made his second pitstop the team waited the required 5s before work could begin on his car... and waited... and waited.

After what seemed a lifetime, and in a sport measured in one-thousandths of a second, the team got to work, but by now the German had been stationary for over 8s.

Finishing the race fourth, Rosberg was 2.432s behind third-placed Max Verstappen, and while, all things considered, it is arguable whether without the timing error the German would have finished ahead of the Dutchman it was an error the Mercedes driver could have done without.

"The stopwatch didn't start properly," Toto Wolff subsequently told reporters, "and once we realised, we had to take it safe. And this is why it took longer than normal.

"Even in an F1 team with all the high tech if you get to take out the instruments you don't usually use, like a stopwatch, they can fail," he added.

"We could have counted, one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, but we relied on the stopwatch, and it let us down."

While reports that Hamilton was in charge of buying new batteries for the stopwatch remain unconfirmed, it is to be assumed that the Tag-Heuer powered Red Bull drivers will never encounter such an issue.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Hockenheim, here.

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Published: 01/08/2016
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