Nico Rosberg was surprised to receive a time penalty during Sunday’s German Grand Prix for forcing Red Bull’s Max Verstappen off-track, believing it was “a great move”.
After a poor start that saw him fall from pole to fourth, Rosberg attempted an aggressive overtake on Verstappen at the hairpin, pushing the Red Bull driver wide and off the track before gaining the position.
Verstappen immediately complained to his team, prompting the stewards to look into the incident before handing Rosberg a five-second time penalty.
Rosberg served the penalty at his final pit stop before crossing the line in fourth, allowing Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to extend his drivers’ championship lead to 19 points.
“[Losing] the win and a good result. That’s what I’m disappointed in,” Rosberg told NBCSN after the race.
“I lost the race at the start. It was a big moment. Massive wheelspin. I don’t understand it. It was nothing I foresaw.”
Rosberg was surprised by the penalty, believing the move to have been hard but fair.
“Just a great battle and a great move I thought. I was really happy about it,” Rosberg said.
“[I] didn’t expect the penalty at all. The penalty came through which was very surprising.
“According to them it was too much on the edge, but I don’t think so.”
Rosberg enters the summer break with just one win to his name since the Russian Grand Prix at the beginning of May, and admitted the defeat in Germany will take some time to recover from.
“At this moment Nico Rosberg’s mindset is very, very disappointed,” Rosberg said.
“It’s been a very, very tough day. It’s going to take some time to get over that. That’s it.”
Verstappen weighed in on Rosberg’s move during the post-race FIA press conference, saying he had to go off-track to prevent a crash.
“He didn’t turn in, he was just driving straight,” Verstappen said.
“I had to go off the track otherwise we would have crashed. That’s not very handy.
“Lewis knows,” Verstappen added, referring to Hamilton’s clash with Rosberg in Austria, prompting a smile from the three-time world champion.
Formula 1 returns with the Belgian Grand Prix on August 28 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.