Nico Rosberg surprised 'awesome' move on Max Verstappen penalised

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Nico Rosberg says he was surprised to be penalised for what he initially thought was an "awesome" German Grand Prix overtaking move on Max Verstappen

Nico Rosberg surprised 'awesome' move on Max Verstappen penalised

Rosberg was recovering from a slow start in his home F1 race, and trying to pass the Red Bull driver for what was then fifth place in the middle phase of the grand prix.

He fired up the inside at Turn 6, and both drivers ran towards the outside of the corner, forcing Verstappen wide.

Verstappen thought he and Rosberg would crash

Rosberg was then handed a five-second time penalty for his next pitstop by stewards.

"It took me by surprise, definitely," he said. "I didn't expect a penalty for that.

"It was racing. I was really ecstatic at the time because I thought 'wow, that was awesome, I came from miles behind'.

"And I was very happy to get the position because that meant I would have got second place at least - it was damage limitation.

"I was very surprised to get a penalty for it."

Rosberg denied that the move was "comparable" to his last-lap run-in with team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the Red Bull Ring earlier this month, for which he was also penalised.

"[It was] different positioning, I was clearly ahead this time," he said.

Verstappen's defence against Kimi Raikkonen in Hungary last weekend drew criticism from some drivers, namely that he had moved in the braking area.

It was discussed in the drivers' briefing at Hockenheim, and when asked if that was a factor, Rosberg said: "For sure, that made it more difficult.

"It was discussed on Friday that we're supposed to try to avoid that."

STOPWATCH CAPS MISERABLE RACE

While Hamilton won his sixth grand prix in seven starts, Rosberg ultimately finished fourth behind both Red Bulls, and now trails the British driver by 19 points in the championship.

His afternoon was capped by essentially serving an eight-second penalty in the pits rather than a five, owing to what Mercedes boss Toto Wolff called a "stopwatch failure".

"Even in a Formula 1 team with all of the high-tech [elements], if you use instruments that you don't usually use like a stopwatch they can fail," he said.

"The stopwatch didn't start properly and once we realised, we had to take it safe, and this is why it took longer than normal.

"We could have also counted, but we relied on the stopwatch and it let us down."

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