Nico Rosberg v Max Verstappen assessed as Lewis Hamilton identifies key moment – F1 news round-up

Thomas Maher
Nico Rosberg and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Nico Rosberg and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Catch up on all the latest F1 news in Thursday’s round-up, as a race-free weekend approaches.

Fresh from his appearance as a pundit with Sky F1 in Monza, Nico Rosberg’s comments dominate Thursday’s news headlines, with the 2016 World Champion assessing his chances against Max Verstappen in equal machinery.

Elsewhere, we’ve plenty of exclusive news as Jacques Villeneuve, Christian Horner, and Peter Bayer all granted interviews to our Sam Cooper and Thomas Maher! Let’s take a look at the best of Thursday’s news.

Nico Rosberg’s ‘best guess’ on how he’d fare as Max Verstappen’s teammate

Having departed F1 just two days on from winning his maiden world title in the sport, the German driver’s career only briefly overlapped with Max Verstappen as the Dutch driver was promoted to Red Bull earlier that year.

There were some fiesty on-track battles between the two that season as Verstappen sought to make a name for himself. But, looking back on his own prime, how does Nico Rosberg feel he would have gotten on as a contemporary rival to the currently dominating Champion?

“I put Max on the same level as Lewis [Hamilton]. So that’s how I would do,” Rosberg said.

Having beaten Hamilton to the 2016 title in the same car, it was put to him that his suggestion then is that he feels he could have beaten Verstappen in equal machinery.

“Yeah, so that’s how I would do. That would be my best guess,” he said.

Read more: Nico Rosberg makes bold claim on success if he was Max Verstappen’s team-mate

Lewis Hamilton reveals key 2023 moment that confirmed F1 love remained

With his new Mercedes contract now secured, Lewis Hamilton has revealed he did some questioning of himself and whether or not to continue with the team he’s raced with for 10 years.

But a particular moment during this year’s championship confirmed to Hamilton that he still has plenty to offer the sport and helped him make up his mind.

“That reminded me of the past and just confirmed to me that I still have what it takes to compete at the front. I know a lot of people out there are like ’38 I’m getting old’. I’m like ‘I feel great. I feel young. I can still train, I can still drive.’” he said.

“There’s so much more to do and so I’m just about pushing myself.”

Read more: Lewis Hamilton reveals key moment that stopped him questioning F1 future

Christian Horner reveals possible long-term Red Bull engine supply

With Red Bull Powertrains’ facility in Milton Keynes now in operation, the possibility of customer teams being able to purchase a Red Bull power unit supply in the future is a possibility.

Speaking exclusively to PlanetF1.com, Christian Horner revealed that two additional teams alongside Red Bull and AlphaTauri could be eventually supplied out of the facility.

“We’ve geared our facility for circa four teams so that’s something that we will be capable of doing longer term,” Horner said of their future potential.

“But I think our focus is very much on first establishing ourselves and getting a group of people to be integrated with the chassis team, to work as one collective unit. It’s an enormous, enormous undertaking but we’re on that journey and we’re making reasonable progress.”

Read more: Revealed: Red Bull’s customer team plans that could rival Mercedes

Jacques Villeneuve: Carlos Sainz is currently the stronger Ferrari driver

Speaking to PlanetF1.com in Monza, 1997 F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve believes that Carlos Sainz is currently the stronger performing driver at Ferrari.

“It’s chaos,” he said.

“The car is difficult to drive and, right now, Charles Leclerc is not driving with confidence, and he’s making too many mistakes.

“That’s not helping the team moving forward. But Carlos Sainz is the better driver right now at Ferrari.

“So there isn’t the driving force coming from the drivers the same way that Max [Verstappen] is doing, that [Fernando] Alonso is doing that, that Lewis [Hamilton] is doing. Drivers need to push the team and, right now, the Ferrari drivers aren’t really doing it.”

 

Read more: Jacques Villeneuve’s ‘chaos’ theory which is exposing Charles Leclerc

Nico Rosberg draws upon personal experience to question Charles Leclerc

With Charles Leclerc beaming about enjoying his battle with Carlos Sainz in Monza, 2016 F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg has cast doubt on his honesty as he revealed how his duel with Lewis Hamilton as teammates in Bahrain in 2014 had really hurt and angered him – even though he didn’t show it at the time.

“I remember myself in Bahrain,” he told the Sky Sports F1 podcast. “I said after the race ‘wow, that was the most fun I’ve ever had in a racing car.’ But actually the truth was that was the most far from the truth possible.

“Because the truth was I was seriously angry and seriously hurt from finishing second to Lewis and it was zero fun.

“As race drivers, we always have to be a bit Hollywood. You can’t always say the truth obviously because it’s going to backfire otherwise.”

 

Read more: Nico Rosberg ‘seriously angry and hurt’ after major Lewis Hamilton battle

Daniel Ricciardo remains a strong prospect for a seat with AlphaTauri next season

We’re really spoiling you for exclusive content today!

At Monza, PlanetF1.com sat down with new AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer where he revealed the reasons why Daniel Ricciardo is still a strong candidate for a full-time race seat in 2024, even if he is the very opposite to a ‘junior driver’

“My belief is that… obviously, we cannot only develop young drivers – we also have to be competitive,” he said.

“I think, to be competitive nowadays, you need… in order to fulfil both cars, you need to have one experienced driver and one young one. That’s really what I’m trying to achieve, you know, to have an experienced one and a young one.

“Because then the young one will learn more from the experienced one, the experienced one will help us and, for example, Daniel helped us tremendously on setting up the car.

“So whilst we give feedback to a young driver, the experienced one gives us feedback, and I’m convinced you need to have those two.”

 

Read more: Why Daniel Ricciardo remains strong prospect for full-time AlphaTauri seat in 2024