Formula One youngster Max Verstappen appears to have taken the side of Lewis Hamilton against Nico Rosberg following Sunday’s German Grand Prix. When asked about the German’s aggressive driving style, Verstappen cheekily replied “Lewis knows.”
The 18-year-old Red Bull driver was forced off the track, as Rosberg fought to claim second place in Hockenheim. After race stewards analyzed the incident, Rosberg was given a 5-second penalty. This caused him to land in fourth place, and to lose precious championship points.
According to The Telegraph, Rosberg maintains that his tires were fully locked up, and he could not have done anything to prevent forcing Verstappen out. A similar incident against his teammate Lewis Hamilton, also took place in the Austrian Grand Prix earlier this season. Rosberg was also penalized on that occasion. Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner was livid about the incident. “You can argue it’s a racing incident but if he’d have locked up all four wheels and there had been a puff of tyre smoke and so on, maybe he’d have got away with it.” he said.
The Mercedes drivers have been embroiled in a heated battle for the championship throughout the past couple of seasons. With his German Grand Prix win, Hamilton extends his lead to 19 points in the Driver’s Championship standings. The penalty comes as an extra blow for Rosberg, who was sitting in pole position at the start of the race. He was slow coming off the line, and his teammate managed to jump to the lead. After Hamilton passed him, it was a flurry of Red Bulls around the German. The Red Bull pair of Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo also overtook him in the opening lap.
Rosberg fought hard to keep the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen behind him. Once he was able to start fighting back, he got too aggressive with Verstappen, as he attempted to claim second place. The aggressive move sent the Dutchman down to third place, while Rosberg ended up getting sent back to fourth.
Hamilton now sits on top of the standings, as the season goes into the summer break. He is on track to win his fourth driver’s title, while Rosberg is chasing his first.