Losing any chance of fighting for the Spanish GP win at Turn 1, Nico Rosberg says Valtteri Bottas is “lacking” in aggression and it once again cost him.
Bottas started Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix second on the grid but found himself down in fourth by Turn 2.
Losing out to the fast-starting Max Verstappen, Bottas swamped by the Racing Point team-mates with Lance Stroll pushing his way up into third.
A slow start by Bottas as he drops to P5, behind the two Racing Points
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 16, 2020
It took Bottas five laps to pass the Canadian driver but the damage was done and he never once looked capable of fighting Verstappen for second, never mind battling Hamilton for the victory.
“Valtteri will be very, very disappointed with that,” Rosberg said via Sky Sports F1 as he watched Bottas’ start back.
“We really saw every little weakness in his armoury out there today.
“That’s in wheel-to-wheel racing, just lacking a little bit of aggressivity, which we saw at the start and so he fell back behind Stroll.
“Just opening the door on the inside and Stroll went right through. Then in the race pace afterwards.
“Valtteri’s body language was really resigned [in the post-race interviews].”
Although Bottas finished the race on the podium and bagged the fastest lap point, Sunday’s result meant his deficit to Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship grew to 43 points.
Rosberg says he has to fight back at the next race in Belgium if he wants a chance at beating Hamilton to the World title.
“He can feel the championship chance slipping away from him once again,” Rosberg added.
“Lewis is on this incredible momentum and Valtteri just has to find away to put that to an end with a bang, and put in a string of results.
“It’s always going to be tough fighting for a World Championship with Lewis. But nevertheless Valtteri has a great car so it doesn’t take much to bounce back.
“If he puts it on pole next race then, boom, you’re back again with a great mental state. So it’s ok for Valtteri, he just needs to keep fighting.”
Bottas himself fears his chances are already slipping away.
“I have no clue actually what the points difference is, but it’s way too big. And I can see again the championship drifting away,” he admitted.
“We’ll take a couple of days to look at everything and see what went wrong and again, move on.
“Obviously at this point very disappointing, but yes I know I will always bounce back. And no doubt in Spa [the next race in two weeks’ time], as always I’ll be in full mental health, giving everything I have.
“For now, I just want to be somewhere else than here right now.”