In the Max Verstappen duel, Nico Rosberg blasts Valtteri Bottas for doing a “rubbish job.”
On Sunday, Bottas finished fourth after both Red Bull drivers passed him on their way to the podium.
Nico Rosberg praised Mercedes’ strategy during the French Grand Prix, but chastised Valtteri Bottas for allowing both Red Bull drivers to past him during the race. Mercedes’ tactics at Le Castellet were highly criticized, but Rosberg believes Bottas, the team’s second driver, shares some of the blame.
With his third win of the season on Sunday, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 12 points.
As Red Bull opened up a three-point lead at the top of the Constructors’ Championship, Lewis Hamilton finished second, ahead of Sergio Perez in third and Bottas in fourth.
With a mistake at the first corner, Verstappen lost the lead, but the 23-year-old came back to overcome Hamilton and Bottas and grab the chequered flag.
After the race, Mercedes’ choice to only pit its drivers once, as opposed to Red Bull’s two, was criticized, although 2016 world champion Rosberg supported his old team’s move.
He told Sky Sports, “As a driver, you can’t judge a situation out there.”
“So the team had to make a decision, and it was the right one because they needed to keep it out there just to safeguard the win.
“It’s simply that Valtteri did a poor job of defending [against Verstappen]because he blocked entirely unnecessarily, braked much too late, and ran straight on, allowing Max to pass so easily.
“Perhaps he would have passed anyhow, but at the very least it cost him some lap time.
“It wasn’t a very good approach to defend, and it could have been done much more intelligently.”
While Rosberg slammed Bottas, Mercedes’ senior strategist James Vowles admitted on the team radio that “this one is on us.”
Mercedes is facing a reckoning after a seven-year reign of terror, with Red Bull taking the Constructors’ Championship for the first time since 2013.
There have been claims that Red Bull’s recent success is due to an illegally flexible rear wing and high tyre pressures, but Hamilton was unapologetic on Sunday.
The seven-time world champion added, “Those guys are just too quick now.”
“This weekend, they took a tremendous stride forward. “Brinkwire Summary News” says we’re down three-and-a-half.