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Rosberg critical of Mercedes pair

NEWS STORY
21/06/2021

2016 world champion, Nico Rosberg was quick to take aim at Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas following the French GP, believing both could have defended better.

Never one to miss an opportunity to take a swipe at his former teammate, Rosberg described Hamilton's defence of his position on the penultimate lap as "soft", insisting the Briton should have slammed the door on his Dutch rival.

As if things weren't bad enough already, what with Red Bull extending its lead over Mercedes to 37 points and Max Verstappen enjoying a 12 point comfort cushion over Lewis Hamilton, the German team had to suffer the schadenfreude-like post-race barbs of former driver, Rosberg.

"Close the damn door, no?" said Rosberg as Hamilton appeared to yield the lead to Verstappen on the penultimate lap.

"Usually Lewis is the best one-to-one racer and I'm surprised he didn't try," he added. "At least try, brake late and try to keep him on the outside. A bit soft there from Lewis, somehow."

Previously, he'd taken a similar swipe at Valtteri Bottas after the Finn lost out to the championship leader.

"Valtteri did a rubbish job, honestly, in defending because he blocked completely unnecessarily, he braked way too late and went straight on so Max had such an easy time getting past.

"Maybe he would have got past anyway but at least cost him a bit more lap time. It was not a very good way of defending and could have been done in a much more smart way."

The German was also critical of his old team, telling Sky Sports viewers: "You can definitely see the pressure is there at Mercedes, because I've not seen them make so many mistakes in a long time.

"They're still an unbelievable force, a phenomenal team," he added. "But Red Bull's pace is such a boost, and they're really coming the dominant force more and more, which is putting so much pressure on Mercedes and we are seeing that Mercedes are making mistake after mistake.

"They need to be careful, they need to keep it together from now on to have a chance."

"I have to say Lewis was very fair with the pass," said Christian Horner of the move that saw Verstappen take the lead, "he didn't defend hard or aggressively and it was a very clean move."

Asked specifically about Rosberg's comment, Hamilton said: "Firstly, there's marbles on the inside, so I didn't want to make my tyres any worse than they already were.

"He had the DRS open, so if he didn't pass me there, he would have passed me the straight afterwards, so it would have made zero difference and I just had no front end, so he would have got me either way.

"It was pointless to defend any harder. I think you saw what happened to Valtteri - just ended up going straight on. So, there was no point messing up the tyres any more.

"A two-stop, probably... two-stop would potentially have done the job but it was not on the cards at all for us, so we'll do some analysis and try to figure out why."

Earlier in the weekend, Rosberg was one of those expressing suspicion as to why Mercedes had opted to swap its drivers chassis, a "myth" that Hamilton addressed by putting his (or rather Bottas') car on the front row and leading much of the race.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by TokyoAussie, 22/06/2021 4:23

"If all Rosberg did was offer up vanilla comments, he'd be quickly promoted back to Monaco. No big deal."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by kenji, 22/06/2021 1:07

"@ James D...Rosberg is prepared to ask/pose the questions that the sycophantic Sky team fail to do. That has to be welcome as for too long MB and team members have been granted supreme deity status thus depriving the fans of any realistic answers to the 'curly' questions. Rosberg won his WC under extreme conditions with Hamilton prepared to sacrifice his team mate into the clutches of the 'red enemy' rather than see him win the WC. Wolff sanctioned that as well. That fact alone says Rosberg is well qualified to take MB on and put some pressure back into the arena. I must admit that I do derive some degree of pleasure seeing Wolff under the pump....by way of payback."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Burton, 21/06/2021 19:24

"Bottas defended alright, held Max during the chicane entry and accelerated alongside in corner exit for a significant amount of time considering how poor the tyres were."

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by jcr, 21/06/2021 15:38

"JamesD
Nico Rosberg. 2016 F1 World Champion.
The one person that all Hammi worshippers Love to Hate.
Much better qualified to comment than Msrs Brundle, Sky, ect.
Especially about Merc business.
Hopefully Max & Red Bull can continue as the are at the Moment
and stop the Bull once and for all.
"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by JamesD, 21/06/2021 7:43

"Nico who ?"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

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