F1 champion Nico Rosberg's battle with Max Verstappen 'brave'

Christian Horner described Nico Rosberg's pass on Max Verstappen as "brave" and a deciding moment in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where he clinched the Formula 1 world title

F1 champion Nico Rosberg's battle with Max Verstappen 'brave'

Rosberg found himself behind Verstappen, who spun at the first corner after contact with Nico Hulkenberg and fought back up while staying out as the leading cars pitted.

Mercedes told Rosberg he needed to pass Verstappen but to be careful, setting up a tense battle as the two went wheel-to-wheel with the Red Bull driver holding firm.

After backing off for a few laps, Rosberg was instructed to attack again as it was critical to his race and this time, the German made a pass stick through Turns 8 and 9.

"Nico was quite brave on the move that he made on Max," said Red Bull team principal Horner.

"It looked like he decided to get on with it at that point, we know Max isn't the easiest car in the paddock to overtake.

How Rosberg dodged Hamilton's minefield

"For me, that was the deciding moment in Nico's race."

Rosberg described being told to pass Verstappen as "not a nice thing to hear", adding to the stress of the title fight with Lewis Hamilton, who tried to back him into the chasing pack.

While Sebastian Vettel eventually took over as Rosberg's closest threat at the end, Verstappen completed his one-stop strategy to take fourth place.

"He lost very little time passing all of those cars and not killing his tyres," said Horner.

"So then to be able to get those tyres to get to lap 21 was a very impressive performance."

Horner said it became clear a one-stop was possible when Hamilton did not pull away at the front and Rosberg cooled off his attack of Verstappen momentarily.

"It looked like Rosberg was being instructed not to go anywhere near Max," said Horner.

"While he was doing that obviously that was making the one stop become more and more available.

"Lewis looked like he was hanging back waiting for him so the fact that Max was able to get to lap 21 on the super-soft tyre, from that point it looked like a one-stop was the plan."

shares
comments
Abu Dhabi circuit bump caused Bottas F1 suspension failure

Previous article

Abu Dhabi circuit bump caused Bottas F1 suspension failure

Next article

Manor F1's Ocon and Wehrlein blame each other for Abu Dhabi clash

Manor F1's Ocon and Wehrlein blame each other for Abu Dhabi clash
Load comments
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021
The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus Plus

The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus

Graham Hill was nearly 30 when he made his Formula 1 debut. NIGEL ROEBUCK examines the life of a gifted racer whose talismanic personality defined an era

Formula 1
Sep 11, 2021