Nico Rosberg disagrees with Chinese stewards over ‘penalty-worthy’ incident

Michelle Foster
Nico Rosberg standing in front of a McLaren

Nico Rosberg standing in front of a McLaren

Using Charles Leclerc to make the apex at the hairpin, Nico Rosberg disagrees with the stewards’ call not to investigate Carlos Sainz for his antics against his team-mate in the Chinese GP Sprint.

Racing for position late in the 19-lap Sprint, Sainz and Leclerc went wheel-to-wheel in the battle for fourth place having just been overtaken by Sergio Perez.

Nico Rosberg: ‘He doesn’t even try to get to the apex’

Trying to stay ahead of his team-mate as he has been all season, Sainz ran Leclerc out wide at the hairpin and made contact with the Monegasque driver.

Overtaking Sainz to cross the line in fourth place, Leclerc told Ferrari that his team-mate was “fighting me more than others”.

He later accused Sainz of being “a bit over the limit” given that there was “contact between us” for which the Spaniard apologised.

But while the stewards ruled that no action was required, 2016 World Champion Rosberg believes it was “worthy of a penalty”.

“Carlos was very aggressive there with his team-mate, he really ran him off the road at the hairpin. That was very, very aggressive,” he told Sky Sports.

“I think that might have been over the limit.”

But while he initially said that it “was not unfair”, he later changed his tune as he reviewed the incident.

He said: “Look at Carlos, he misses the apex completely. He doesn’t even try to get to the apex, just runs him out wide.

“Ok, that might be worthy of a penalty.”

Told Sainz used his team-mate to keep him on the track, Rosberg replied: “It reminds me a little bit of my time with Lewis and I got a penalty.”

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Nico Rosberg: Pity to just let him through so easily

As for Rosberg’s former Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, the Briton finished second having lost the lead to Max Verstappen on lap nine.

Making a mistake at the hairpin when he ran wide, Hamilton allowed Verstappen to close right up on his W15’s rear wing with the Dutchman using DRS on the next lap to take the lead and the victory.

Rosberg believes Hamilton made it too easy for the World Champion.

“Close the door Lewis then go aggressive, you know just properly close it,” was his advice watching a replay of the pass.

“Pity to just let him through so easily.”

Read next: Charles Leclerc points finger at ‘over the line’ Carlos Sainz over late-race battle