As a Sky Sports F1 analyst, Rosberg claimed that Hamilton had allowed Verstappen to overtake him even though he was sporting a set of hard tyres for 34 laps in comparison to the 19 of Verstappen on the medium compound.
What did Rosberg say?
“[It was] unusual from Lewis,” remarked Rosberg.
“Close the damn door! No? Usually, Lewis is the best one-to-one racer and I am surprised he didn’t try.
“At least try. Brake late, try to keep him on the outside, so a bit soft from Lewis somehow.”
Hamilton explains what happened
“Firstly, there are marbles on the inside, so I didn’t want to make my tyres any worse than they already were,” Hamilton stated.
“He had the DRS open, so if he didn’t pass me there, he would have passed me on the straight afterwards, so it would have made zero difference and I just had no front end, so he would have got me either way.
“It was pointless to defend any harder. You saw what happened to Valtteri [Bottas] – just ended up going straight on – so, there was no point messing up the tyres anymore.”
Mercedes made strategic errors
Talking about Mercedes’ strategic errors, Hamilton mentioned: “If we look, with hindsight, for sure if we had stopped earlier before they had stopped, come out ahead, and just gone onto a two-stop, probably could have won the race but it would have still been very difficult.
“Their pace was generally very, very strong. I was able to keep them at bay when he was behind me but if he [Verstappen] had not made a mistake in turn one, they would have just led the race all the way, probably.”
“Two-stop, probably… two-stop would potentially have done the job,” Hamilton mentioned when asked if a two-stop strategy would have worked or not.
“But it was not on the cards at all for us, so we’ll do some analysis and try to figure out why.”
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