‘That probably should be avoidable’ – Nico Rosberg criticises Lewis Hamilton’s qualy mistake

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes garage looking at data.

Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes garage.

Nico Rosberg says Lewis Hamilton’s mistake in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix was “seriously painful” as he could’ve avoided his Q1 exit.

Hamilton went from the podium in Saturday’s Sprint at the Shanghai circuit to being eliminated from qualifying at the very first hurdle, out in 18th place.

Lewis Hamilton made a mistake at the hairpin

The seven-time World Champion was knocked out of qualifying by 0.116s after a mistake at the hairpin as he struggled to get his Mercedes slowed for the corner costing him a suggested six-tenths of a second.

Had he not lost that, his lap time would’ve been good enough to put him up in fifth place.

But instead he went out in what Rosberg billed as a “seriously painful” result.

“Wow,” Hamilton’s former Mercedes team-mate told Sky Sports. “That is painful. That is seriously painful.

“In 18th position. Honestly, you know that the wind is coming from the back there. He’s had a great lap until then.

“It was really unnecessary to push the limit there so much. As a seven-time World Champion, that’s a mistake that probably should be avoidable.”

Hamilton revealed he was struggling to turn his W15 in for Turn 14 after Mercedes’ made major set-up changes.

“When I was making the set-up changes, I was like, it can’t get any worse, surely, and it did!” he said. “So shit happens.”

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Nico Rosberg: Pity to just let him through so easily

It wasn’t the first time on Saturday that Rosberg had something to say about his former team-mate having criticised Hamilton’s defending against Max Verstappen in the Sprint.

Hamilton led the opening laps of the 19-lap Sprint only to give Verstappen an open goal when he made a mistake at the hairpin and ran wide, allowing the Red Bull driver to close up on his rear wing.

On the next lap, and with DRS at his disposal, Verstappen swooped past the Mercedes driver with Hamilton not even attempting to defend.

Rosberg wasn’t impressed.

“Close the door Lewis, then go aggressive… just properly close it!” said the German before adding: “Pity to just let him through so easily.”

Hamilton responded to that by saying there was no way he could’ve kept Verstappen in the rampant RB20 behind him.

“I didn’t even put up a fight for Max because he was coming at a serious, serious pace advantage that I knew he would he would get me,” he said as per Total-Motorsport.com.

Read next: Lewis Hamilton explains qualifying downfall after Chinese GP Sprint podium