Nico Rosberg took the chequered flag in fifth position in Japan and it was later confirmed that the German racer retains the position after some debate over the legality of his second and final pitstop.
Rosberg made his final stop just after the deployment of the safety car
and maintained he had not taken advantage of the yellow flags on his way to the pits and had maintained his speed with regard to the regulations. The Stewards found that while the information available to Rosberg was restricted, he did slow sufficiently.
“The Race Director reported to the Stewards that Car No 16, Nico Rosberg exceeded the time delta from when the "Safety Deployed" message was displayed until crossing the Safety Car line,” read a statement from the sport’s governing body. “The Stewards met with the driver and the team representatives and considered the telemetry data, GPS records, timekeeping and video evidence. This evidence showed a "low fuel" message on the drivers display had overridden the time delta information preventing the driver from being able to accurately follow the timing information.
“However the telemetry data shows that the driver from a safety point of view had reacted adequately to the yellow flags and safety car boards. In view of this the Stewards intend to take no further action.
The official classification means that Rubens Barrichello
and Jenson Button
do not move up the order as had been speculated and therefore remain in seventh and eighth positions respectively. Brawn Mercedes now head to Interlagos half a point shy of clinching the constructors’ championship.
“I am pleased with the performance of the team and drivers over the weekend to extract the maximum from the car and add to our championship points tally, leaving us with half a point required to take the constructors’ title,” stated team principal Ross Brawn. “The next two races at Interlagos and Abu Dhabi should suit the characteristics of our car much better so we can look forward to a very exciting conclusion to the season.”
While the Brackley-based team will be disappointed not to wrap up the championship at Suzuka, they are still all but set to make history in becoming the first team to win the championship in its first year of competition.