Championship leader Nico Rosberg has escaped penalty for driving too slowly during British Grand Prix qualifying following an investigation by the race stewards.
Rosberg was summoned to see the stewards following he was found to have exceeded the maximum time allowed for a lap between two safety car lines during Q1.
In a statement, the stewards said Rosberg had not been punished because he was not on an ‘in-lap’ when he set the undemanding time of two minutes and 26.444 seconds.
The German was cleared by the stewards – he was not in breach of the rule as he was not returning to the pits on the lap in question.
As the slow lap was not an in-lap, it was therefore not governed by article 27.5.
The rule states: “In order to ensure that cars are not driven unnecessarily slowly on in laps during and after the end of qualifying, or during reconnaissance laps when the pit exit is opened for the race, drivers must stay below the maximum time set by the FIA between the safety car line after the pit exit and safety car line before the pit entry.
“The maximum time will be determined by the race director at each event after the first day of practice, but may be amended later in the event if deemed necessary.
“The time will normally be based upon 145% of the best dry P1 or P2 time.”
Rosberg will start Sunday’s race from second place on the grid behind his Mercedes teammate and defending three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.
FIA race director Charlie Whiting sent the teams a note on Friday stating that the permitted maximum time was one minute and 45 seconds.