Nico Rosberg believes being banned from the young driver test as a punishment for its illegal tire test will hurt the Mercedes team’s development program.
Mercedes was found guilty of breaking Formula 1’s test ban last week and was barred from next month’s three-day test at Silverstone as a result.
Lewis Hamilton said earlier this week that missing the test “sucks” as it will prevent Mercedes from trying new parts and furthering its understanding of tire management.
“Of course it is a small penalty,” said Rosberg when asked about the tribunal’s decision. “For sure it’s going to hurt us. That’s the small penalty that we got and that’s the way it is. We have to accept it and make the most of it.
“I don’t know what I was expecting because I didn’t know all the details and everything. But it is what it is.”
Rosberg insists his focus has not been affected by the controversy, but conceded he is glad it is all over as it was taking up too much of Brawn’s time.
“The only effect it had on me is that I’m answering your questions to this all the time,” he said. “That’s the only thing that’s been different and I’d prefer to be talking about other things. But it has taken the attention from other people in the team that needed to handle that situation, and that would have been better focusing on the race track.
“Like Ross, for example, who was very involved in this. So it’s good that’s behind us now and Ross can concentrate on our development program.”