Rosberg: “Stewards got this wrong”

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,” 


“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.



15 responses to “Rosberg: “Stewards got this wrong”

  1. Another good reason to stop messing with compounds and have one tyre type per race. Change once, twice or twenty times if you want but don’t mix and match. Then the racing will be pure.

    As ity is, Verstappen clearly took an aggressive line on the corner to force Leclerc wide, pushing him off the track and Verstappen ONCE AGAIN reinforced his credentials as a kart driver who never grew up into the adult Formula.
    F1 is not about bumping the other guy off the track like dodgems – it is about driving skill and speed.

    Not giving Verstappen a penalty (largely because the Jos element seems to have a vociferous influence in the sport these days) will encourage Max to think he can get away this style of behaviour in the name of ‘better racing’ but not at the cost of safety or following the rules.

    • Max knows exactly what he can and cannot do. Yes, you have to leave somebody space but you also don’t have to give up the racing line if you are in front. It was a perfectly executed move at the edge of legitimate and there is no proof of bad intent more than your unjustified hyperbole and the usual Internet “poor character” slander, which does not hold up in court. Leclerc was trying a ‘schwalbe’ and Rosberg wants this to be a penalty so it makes his clumsy obstruction of Hamilton three years earlier look better.

  2. Quote from Martin Brundle: “The cars and tracks are sanitised enough, let’s not wrap the drivers totally in cotton wool too. It’s a race, and that was one hell of a race”. The F1 future looks bright. Period

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  4. Before the race on Friday, Verstappen explained how turn 3 has different lines, each with their pro’s and con’s The tighter line where a driver hits the Apex is the faster line which you normally only use during qualifying or if you are feeling very confident with your car like Max did. Normally you avoid that line during racing because it comes with some wheelspin on the exit of the corner which is not something you want to have to catch every lap if you don’t need to.

    The second line is a more deeper line where you brake later and actually “miss”the apex. At his first attempt he used the first line, at his second attempt he used the second line as this would optimize his exit and would prevent Leclerc from going around the outside. Had he maybe did it the other way around he probably would have secured the win a lap earlier as his attack was better but Leclerc covered his inside better making that lap making the deeper wider line not an option. At his second attempt Leclerc left this wide open probably expecting the same line from Max and trying to optimize his exit by getting an earlier point of accelerating. Leclerc didn’t take into account that Max would pick a different line.

    • That’s all well and good but it doesn’t mention what happens if/ when you collide with the other car on track.
      In every corner there are several different lines (also in wet conditions and with understeer/ oversteer, brake and power combinations) so the Friday explanation was a statement of the obvious in racing terms – no new revelations or defence there for Mad Max.
      Bottom line is that Max now has carte blanche to push his way around and use the T3 Austria defence when he elbows a competitor off the track. The good news is that all the other drivers will be able to say the same and I really hope that a few of them start to elbow Verstappen into tight corners just to hear him bleating “Did you see what he did? He pushed me off”……..which he says almost every race about others.
      If Martine Bundle is right then all the drivers need to grow a pair and then we will see some good old fashioned shoulder to shoulder barging without the fatal consequences of the 1970’s.

      • It’s not like it didn’t happen before. It used to be Hamiltons signature overtaking (or defending) move.

        The big difference between this move and Rosbergs move on Hamilton or Verstappen in 2016 is that Rosberg didn’t allow the other one to turn in (before the apex) while Verstappen closed the gap after the apex by running wide. As long as you are in front or alongside it is completely legit. Always has been.

      • Everyone is annoyed that Max chose to be aggressive and push Charles out wide to take the win, but how many would be cheering for him if it was Hamilton he was pushing out of his way? #:)

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