Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has hit back at Nico Rosberg’s ‘fairly harsh comments’ after the Dutchman’s Belgian Grand Prix performance. Admittedly, Verstappen’s race lasted only as far as the Eau Rouge-Raidillon complex. The Dutchman made contact with Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and broke his suspension. As a result, he was helpless as the car careened into the barriers.

“Verstappen was back to his old self a little bit,” Rosberg commented post-race. “Just too aggressive, really too aggressive. I don’t understand how he just stays flat out even with the car broken. He has balls of steel but that didn’t make an awful lot of sense.”

When the 2016 World Champion’s criticism was conveyed to Verstappen ahead of the Italian GP, the Red Bull driver was none too pleased. In fact, he accused Rosberg of being an attention-seeker. The Red Bull man even drew comparison with Jacques Villeneuve, another notoriously outspoken former champion.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen

“I am not very interested in what he says on his channels,” Verstappen said. “I think he is the new Jacques Villeneuve. He [Villeneuve] has come around, but now it looks like it’s Rosberg who constantly wants to share a controversial opinion.

“Maybe he wants to attract viewers or something? He does it very often. At the beginning of this year he called me a narcissist. That is very extreme.

“Maybe he wants to earn money with his YouTube channel. If he have driven on longer, he could have earned much more.”

Rosberg retired in 2016, mere days after beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to his maiden world drivers’ championship.

Rosberg was on a roll, in terms of his analysis, even going as far as to compare Sebastian Vettel to Rubens Barrichello! This was particularly in reference to the fact that Vettel was forced to let Charles LeClerc go through to take the win. Meanwhile, the German acted as a massive roadblock for the Mercedes duo.