“Did a Rubbish Job”: Nico Rosberg Bashes Valtteri Bottas’ Move Against Max Verstappen

Published 06/22/2021, 6:32 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 19, 2021 Third placed Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas during the press conference after qualifying FIA/Handout via REUTERS


The 2021 F1 season is undeniably panning out to be a season to forget for Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas; the race weekends in Monaco and Azerbaijan may have absolutely wrecked the Finn’s morale.

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And it initially looked like a different story altogether in France, last weekend, where Bottas looked pacy enough to secure his first win of the season.

However, the Mercedes driver, yet again, failed to shine during the race, as he lost positions to both the Red Bulls with just over 4 laps left from the chequered flag.

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Hence, former F1 champion, Nico Rosberg was particularly displeased with the way Bottas defended, especially against Max Verstappen. The German reckoned it was a “rubbish” defending from Bottas, that ultimately cost Mercedes a race win.

Rosberg’s opinion of Bottas’ defending against Max Verstappen

As reported by PlanetF1, Rosberg opined that Bottas made quite a lot of unnecessary mistakes while defending against the Dutchman.

It’s just that Valtteri did a rubbish job, honestly, in defending,” he said. “He blocked completely unnecessarily, he braked way too late, went straight on, so Max had such an easy time getting past.

Maybe he would have got past anyway. But [you should] at least cost him a bit more lap time. It was not a very good way of defending, it could have been done in a much more smart way.

Following the move on Bottas, Verstappen took a handful of laps to close in on Hamilton and ultimately leaped past the Briton with just over a lap left in hand.

Hence, had Verstappen wasted another lap behind Bottas, winning the race could have turned into a much strenuous task for the Dutchman.

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While there have been criticisms swarming around Mercedes over their decision to deny Bottas a second pit-stop, Rosberg is supporting the Brackley outfit. He reckoned Mercedes were right to use Bottas to protect Hamilton’s race win.

As a driver, you can’t judge the situation out there so the team obviously has to make a decision [on strategy],” he said. “It was the right decision [on Bottas] because they had to keep him out there to protect the win.

Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 20, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during the race REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Overall, the outing at Le Castellet is likely to have dented Bottas’ confidence even further, and a revival to form seems too far-fetched.

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What’s more, it could only go worse from here, considering the upcoming weekend in Austria is likely to be wet throughout. And, it is a known fact that Bottas isn’t quite strong in such tricky conditions; the 2020 Turkish GP and the 2021 Emilia Romagna GP for instance.

Hence, can Bottas fight against the odds to put on a formidable show in Spielberg this weekend?

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Rohit Kumar

940 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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