Rosberg: Bottas did a ‘rubbish job’ on Verstappen

Mark Scott
Valtteri Bottas Max Verstappen Red Bull Mercedes

Another race weekend has passed with more criticism for under-pressure Valtteri Bottas, this time from his Mercedes predecessor Nico Rosberg.

All the talk regarding Bottas leading up to French Grand Prix was concerning his Mercedes future post 2021, with George Russell waiting in the wings to replace him.

And that discussion is bound to continue following the conclusion of the French Grand Prix where Bottas openly criticised the Mercedes team for not putting him on a two-stop strategy.

While Mercedes boss Toto Wolff welcomed the aggression from Bottas, Rosberg felt his former team made the right decision to keep Bottas on a one-stop and that the main let-down was the Finn’s attempt to hold up Verstappen in his pursuit of the race win.

“As a driver, you can’t judge the situation out there so the team obviously has to make a decision [on strategy],” Rosberg said on Sky F1.

“It was the right decision [on Bottas] because they had to keep him out there to protect the win – it’s just that Valtteri did a rubbish job, honestly, in defending.

“He blocked completely unnecessarily, he braked way too late, went straight on, so Max had such an easy time getting past.

“Maybe he would have got past anyway, but [you should] at least cost him a bit more lap time. It was not a very good way of defending, it could have been done in a much more smart way.”

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Rosberg’s colleague Paul di Resta, whose comments on the chassis swap between the Mercedes driver had already caught the attention of Lewis Hamilton, did partially defend Bottas.

He reckoned Bottas had a stronger race weekend, but also stated that he can make life easier for himself if he can find it within him to qualifying higher up the grid.

Di Resta said: “The reality is you can’t complain about where you are if you’re stuck in traffic, the easiest way [for clean air] is to qualify on pole position and then you’ve got the free run.

“Unfortunately it just didn’t quite work out for [Bottas] but I think he’s had a very solid weekend, speed-wise.

“It’s just whether he’s going to be upset going into next week and just being frustrated from losing out to that.

“He did predict [a two-stop race], I heard him on the radio more than anybody else.

“He was actually questioning the team, but the team never came back with any answers for him.”

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