Former Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has criticized his former teammate Lewis Hamilton and his successor in the team Valtteri Bottas for a soft defense of the position against Max Verstappen and says he has not seen Mercedes make so many mistakes in a long time.
Red Bull decided to change strategy with Verstappen and sent him to a second tire change which forced him to make up for more than 18 seconds behind Hamilton and overtake him on the track after previously losing position after a mistake in the second corner and regaining the lead after the first changes tire.
But Verstappen still managed to regain the lead for the second time by overtaking Hamilton in the penultimate round after he had previously overtaken Bottas, while his teammate Perez, as expected, did not cause him any problems.
Verstappen increased his lead in the drivers ’standings from four to 12 points while Red Bull leads with 37 points more than Mercedes after 7/23 races. “Close the damn door, right?” Rosberg commented on Hamilton’s defense against Verstappen in the penultimate round.
“At least try and brake late and keep him on the outside, so a bit soft there from Lewis somehow”. "Valtteri did a bad job, honestly, in his defense because he blocked completely unnecessarily, braked far too late, and extended straight, which made it very easy for Max to pass."
"He might have passed anyway, but he could at least have taken more time. It's not a very good way to defend and he could have done it in a much smarter way. "
Rosberg on their mistakes
Rosberg also commented on Mercedes' increasingly common mistakes, this time in a strategic sense, and said he hadn't seen them make so many mistakes in a long time.
“You can definitely see that Mercedes is under pressure because I haven’t seen them make so many mistakes in a long time,” Rosberg said. “They are still an incredible force, a phenomenal team. But Red Bull's speed is a big thing for them, they are getting stronger and stronger and that puts so much pressure on Mercedes and we see them going from mistake to mistake.
” "They have to be careful, they have to come to their senses and they have a chance." Hamilton commented on Rosberg’s comments and felt it made no sense to defend harder on heavily used up tires. “First, there were pieces of tire on the inside so I didn’t want to make my tires worse as they were,” Hamilton said.
"He had DRS, so if he hadn't overtaken me there, he would overtake me in the next direction, so there would be no difference. I didn’t have a front end so he would overtake me anyway." "There was no point in defending harder.
I think you saw what happened to Valtteri, he just extended straight. So it didn't make sense to load the tires even harder. ”