Lewis Hamilton has been branded “a bit soft” by former Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg after allowing rival Max Verstappen to sail by on the penultimate lap and win the French Grand Prix.
Rosberg also criticised Mercedes’ strategy after title rivals Red Bull pulled off a masterstroke with a two-stop strategy, leaving one-stopper Hamilton a sitting duck on worn hard tyres at the end of the race.
Rosberg said: “[It was] unusual from Lewis. 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.”
Verstappen 'lacked preparation'
Rosberg did not hold back on his criticism of Verstappen either, suggesting a “lack of preparation” was the reason for him going wide at the first corner and relinquishing the early lead to his rival.
Verstappen made amends in the end, thanks to his team’s decision to gamble on strategy.
Rosberg added: “Turn one it just was clear that maybe Max just took a bit too much unnecessary risk and speed going in there.
“Maybe a lack of preparation a little bit because there was 40kph of wind from the back, so it was always going to happen in turn one that it’s going to be super low grip.
“So a bit of a mistake there, but of course from then on just an awesome job from Red Bull and some rather big mistakes from Mercedes on strategy.”