German GP: Red Bull's Verstappen thought he and Rosberg would crash

Max Verstappen said Formula 1 rival Nico Rosberg left him no option but to go off to avoid a crash in their German Grand Prix battle

German GP: Red Bull's Verstappen thought he and Rosberg would crash

Rosberg was given a five-second time penalty and two penalty points on his licence for his move on Verstappen at the Hockenheim hairpin.

The Mercedes driver was attacking the Red Bull for what was then fifth place, immediately after their second pitstops.

Verstappen took to the runoff area to avoid Rosberg and instantly complained on the radio that he had been forced off, an opinion the stewards agreed with.

"He was quite far back so he braked really late," said Verstappen.

"At one point I thought he was going to run into me so I opened up.

"He didn't turn in, he just kept driving straight, so I had to go off the track, otherwise he would've crashed."

The Dutchman hinted the incident was similar to Rosberg's attempt to resist Lewis Hamilton for the lead on the final lap of the Austrian GP four weeks ago, calling Rosberg's driving: "not very handy! Lewis knows..."

Rosberg's penalty dropped him back behind both Red Bulls and he finished fourth.

Verstappen chased Hamilton for the Hockenheim lead initially after going around the outside of Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo for second at Turn 1 on the opening lap.

But he ultimately finished back in third behind the Australian, who passed him on super-softs when their tyre strategies diverged mid-race.

Verstappen said he had decided not to fight Ricciardo too hard when his team-mate had superior pace as the team had already discussed the possibility of their strategies differing.

"On this track you have a lot of possibilities. We talked about them," said Verstappen of the switch of positions.

"I think we did a good job on that today."

Ricciardo added: "It was a good bit of teamwork for us."

Red Bull's first double podium since last year's Hungarian GP moved the team up to second in the constructors' championship ahead of Ferrari, which could only finish fifth and sixth.

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