After the Austrian Grand Prix, Formula 1 is still discussing the duel between the two youngsters, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.
The Dutchman had to wait until just before eight o’clock on Sunday evening until his victory at the Red Bull Ring was confirmed by the FIA commissioners. “No further action” was the final decision. For ex-driver Nico Rosberg this was a wrong decision.
“It’s so difficult to judge,” the German announces in his latest Youtube video. He remembers his collision with Lewis Hamilton in Spielberg 2016 when the two Mercedes drivers also got in each other’s way in turn 3 in the last lap. At that time, Rosberg was subsequently fined a ten-second penalty for causing a collision.
While Hamilton tried it on the outside of the sharp right-hand bend of turn three, Verstappen passed Leclerc three years later on the inside track. The Ferrari pushed out far into the exit. Later it was discussed whether Verstappen deliberately turned in late and pushed the Monegasque out of the way – or not.
After the race, Rosberg was clearly happy about the duel between the two hopefuls on Twitter. “That’s what we want to see! Formula 1 needs good racing and less penalties,”
— Nico Rosberg (@nico_rosberg) June 30, 2019
“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.”
Rosberg even thinks he noticed that Verstappen was able to drive a very good line in the race in curve 3 in contrast to his competitors. He normally always hit the apex. Not so on lap 69.
“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 knows. He was already one of the few drivers in the Canadian debate who defended the penalty for Sebastian Vettel.
In the Spielberg case, he says that both drivers deserved victory. Ferrari, however, from Rosberg’s point of view, had screwed up the strategy, because if Leclerc had started on the harder medium, he would not have got into the dicey situation at the end of the race.
“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.”
The 21-year-old still has to wait for his first Formula 1 victory.