Nico Rosberg has been hit with a 10-second penalty after the stewards decided in a lengthy meeting that the driver in question received radio messages from his team that were in breach of F1's new regulations that require a driver to drive his car 'alone and unaided'
The Stewards, having received a report from the Race Director, heard from the driver and team representatives and examined audio evidence, determined there was a breach of the regulations by Nico Rosberg.
The German found a problem with downshifting while braking at Club 10 laps from the end of the British Grand Prix. Being unable to accelerate properly out of the corner, and seeing Verstappen close in rapidly, Rosberg reported the problem, saying "Gearbox problem."
His race engineer rapidly replied : "Driver default 1-0-1, chassis default 0-1, chassis default 0-1. You need to avoid 7th gear Nico, avoid 7th gear".
Rosberg replied and asked "So what does that mean, so I have to shift through it?".
Followed up by the response: "Affirmative Nico, shift through it".
It appears now that the response to Nico's questions is what is considered against the regulations, for which a penalty was deemed necessary.
"Having considered the matter extensively, the Stewards determined that the team gave some instructions to the driver that were specifically permitted under Technical Directive 014-16.", read the stewards' report.
"However, the Stewards determined that the team then went further and gave instructions to the driver that were not permitted under the Technical Directive, and were in Breach of Art. 27.1 of the Sporting Regulations, that the driver must drive the car alone and unaided."
The penalty thus drops Rosberg to third, promoting Verstappen to second place and reducing the World Championship gap between him and Lewis Hamilton to a single point.
UPDATE: An intention to appeal as revealed by the team later in the evening was withdrawn the next day, noting "the team accepts the Stewards' interpretation of the regulation, their decision and the associated penalty".