One of the biggest talking points of the Austrian Grand Prix was the epic duel between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. The two drivers clipped each other when Verstappen attempted a dive for the lead. In the end, Max Verstappen won, though the incident came under investigation, luckily “No further action” was taken. However, former Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg felt that it was the wrong decision.
“It’s so difficult to judge,” the German announced in his latest Youtube video. He reminisced his own collision with Lewis Hamilton back in 2016, coincidentally, at turn 3. For that incident, Nico Rosberg was punished with a ten-second penalty for causing a collision.
The difference was that Hamilton sent the car around the outside of the corner while Verstappen chose the inside. Some debated whether Verstappen deliberately turned in late and pushed LeClerc wide.
Initially, Nico Rosberg was delighted that the battle went unpunished and was seen as a racing incident. He tweeted, “That’s what we want to see! Formula 1 needs good racing and less penalties,”
However, he did a volte farce after a bit more thought about the incident.
In his Youtube vlog, he said, “I think Verstappen deserves victory because he was simply super. But I also have to say, and that sounds stupid now … I think Max drove far out on purpose and turned in very late”.
“He knew from the previous lap that this would be the only way to win the race,” says the German. Because the Red Bull wanted to pass the Ferrari in turn 3 one lap before, but Leclerc closed the door.
“In the first overtaking attempt, he left a lot of room on the outside and Leclerc was able to counter. He knew he had to push him out. He turned in very late. He was far away from his usual driving line, because normally he hit the apex exactly.”
According to Nico Rosberg, Max Verstappen chose some very good lines when heading into turn 3. The 2016 Formula One champion noticed that the Dutchman meticulously hit the apex, but changed tactics on lap 69.
Nico Rosberg continued, “There he was far away from his usual line and as a result I unfortunately think he should have got a penalty. And of course that’s a pain in the ass. Because we want to see racing, these wheel-to-wheel fights.”
The German was one of the few drivers who took Sebastian Vettel’s side for the Canadian GP penalty.
However, for Austria, he was a bit more torn, saying that both drivers deserved to win. Unfortunately, he felt that Ferrari botched up the strategy as they normally did this season. Rosberg was of the opinion that if Leclerc began on the harder medium, he would not be in that situation with Verstappen.
“But he started on the soft tyres, that was the big problem. That gave Verstappen this chance in the end. If Leclerc had started on the medium, he would have been gone at the end.”