© Getty Images

Rosberg upset with Hamilton after US GP defeat (VIDEO)

5 Comments

Nico Rosberg made no secret of his annoyance with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton following Sunday’s United States Grand Prix after his aggressive pass at the beginning of the race in Austin.

Starting second, Hamilton made a better start to get alongside pole-sitter Rosberg on the run down to turn one before forcing the German wide, causing him to drop down to fifth.

What followed was a mesmerising grand prix that saw Rosberg, Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat and Sebastian Vettel all look capable of winning the race at points.

With eight laps to go, Rosberg squandered a two-second lead by making a mistake and running wide at turn 16, allowing Hamilton to take the lead.

Hamilton eased home to claim his tenth win of the season and clinch his third Formula 1 world championship with three races to spare.

In the cool-down room after the race, Hamilton threw the second-place finisher Pirelli cap to a disgruntled Rosberg for him to wear, only for the German to toss it back at the Briton.

Speaking the post-race press conference, Rosberg hit out at Hamilton over his turn one move, believing that it overstepped the mark.

“Turn one for sure was very aggressive,” Rosberg said. “I haven’t seen it, so I can’t comment yet.

“For sure it was extremely aggressive. We hit each other – or I would say Lewis came into me, so obviously that’s not good.”

Rosberg also spoke about the error that cost him the lead of the race late on, putting it down to wheelspin.

“I jut got wheelspin, it’s never happened to me ever, not even in testing or racing,” Rosberg said. “I can’t explain it. Just need to look into it.

“That was really really tough at the time to lose the lead like that and to lose the win because I was feeling really good at that point.”

Max Verstappen shows speed in Austria; Lewis Hamilton lacking pace

Leonhard Foeger/Pool via Getty Images
Leave a comment

SPIELBERG, Austria — Red Bull driver Max Verstappen posted the fastest time Friday, and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton lacked pace in the second practice session for the Styrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen was 0.043 seconds quicker than Valtteri Bottas – Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes – and 0.217 ahead of Racing Point driver Sergio Perez.

“The car already feels better than last week, the balance is a lot nicer and we have made a good step,” said Verstappen, who did not finish last Sunday’s season-opening Austrian GP after starting from second.

“It is too early to say how we are looking against Mercedes, but we are quite happy. We have tried a few different directions to understand the car a bit more and we are heading the right way.”

Hamilton was only sixth fastest, about 0.7 seconds slower than Verstappen. Hamilton spent a chunk of time in the garage while his team worked on his car.

“It was quite far off, so there’s a lot of work to do in the background to figure it out,” he said. “Others out there are quick and Valtteri’s obviously got good pace.”

Despite adding a new front wing to its car, struggling Ferrari had a dismal afternoon.

Charles Leclerc was only ninth quickest and 1 second slower than Verstappen, while teammate Sebastian Vettel lagged about 2 seconds behind Verstappen in 16th.

Daniel Ricciardo lost control of his Renault car early into the second session, swerving left off the track and thudding backward into a protective tire wall. He climbed out unharmed, other than a slight limp, but the left rear tire was mangled and the car was lifted off the track by a crane.

Alexander Albon spun twice, the Red Bull driver’s second spin taking him right off the track and into gravel.

Earlier, Perez was fastest in the first practice ahead of Verstappen and Bottas, with Hamilton fourth quickest and Vettel only 10th in sunny conditions.

That session was briefly interrupted when Nicholas Latifi’s Williams car pulled over to the side with a gearbox issue.

The incident brought out yellow flags, forcing drivers to slow down. But McLaren driver Lando Norris overtook Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri and got a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

Norris, 20, finished third at the Austrian GP last weekend, becoming the youngest British driver in F1 history to get on the podium and third youngest in F1.

The upcoming race is changing names from last week but is at the same track. It is surrounded by the Styrian mountains.

A third and final practice will be held on Saturday morning before qualifying in the afternoon, with heavy rain and storms in the forecast.

If third practice and qualifying are washed out, drivers take their grid positions from where they placed in second practice.

“It would definitely suck if we didn’t get to qualify,” said Hamilton, who started fifth and finished fourth last weekend. “It would make it challenging.”

However, qualifying also could be moved to Sunday morning.

“I don’t expect to be on pole position with this (practice) lap,” Verstappen said.