Why did Max Verstappen call Nico Rosberg ‘Britney’ on Grill the Grid podcast?

Max Verstappen called Nico Rosberg with an insulting name on the latest episode of F1’s Grill the Grid.

While answering to score points in the competition, Verstappen was asked a question. The answer to this question was Nico Rosberg. However, Verstappen let out another word, which was Rosberg’s old demeaning nickname on the grid.

Verstappen answered “Britney” and promptly corrected himself. However, the slip had happened. It was a funny moment, but maybe Rosberg won’t find it that amusing.

Nico Rosberg: Max Verstappen my 'most annoying' Formula 1 rival | F1 News
Verstappen (left) along with Britney, sorry, Rosberg (right). Source: skysports.com

‘Britney’ was Rosberg’s nickname back when he was competing. It was started by F1 legend Mark Webber, who called him that in 2006. Back then, Rosberg had joined Williams Racing for the 2006 season, and was paired with Webber.

Pop star Rosberg

At the time, the German driver had long, blonde hair, far from the haircut he sports today. Webber saw the resemblance to American pop star Britney Spears, and called him ‘Britney’. Webber explained that Rosberg looked a lot like his (nick)namesake, and thought it was a good nickname.

At the 2006 Brazilian GP, Rosberg ran into the rear end of the other William car. As a result, both he and Webber were called to the pits. On his way to the pit lane, Rosberg lost control of the car and ran into the wall. Upon noticing what had happened, Webber said on his team radio, “Britney’s in the wall.”

The name stuck from then on, with other drivers also calling Rosberg that at times. In 2010, ahead of the European GP, his former teammate Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button wished Rosberg a happy birthday. Funnily enough, they sang happy birthday to “the German Britney”, and not to Rosberg directly.

Verstappen certainly remembers the tales and opinions of years past, then. Even though it was entirely accidental, we can’t help but applaud him for his memory. He showcased it on Grill the Grid, where he came second overall after various memory games.

Read more: Verstappen blasts Bottas for his actions at Hungarian GP – “Something noisy came out of his brain”

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