Rosberg to change tone after Hamilton, Verstappen remarks

Nico Rosberg has said he will change his tone after being branded as the “new Jacques Villeneuve” and “irrelevant” for his recent comments.

The 2016 World Champion told his YouTube followers that he would “try and change my tone a little bit” after both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton reacted negatively to his criticisms.

The German claimed Verstappen was back to his old tricks after a first-lap collision in Belgium, leading the Red Bull man to brand him as F1’s new Jacques Villeneuve, otherwise known as rent-a-quote.

Hamilton saw the funny side of the jibe, with the relationship between Verstappen and Rosberg already soured earlier in the season after the latter called Verstappen a “narcissist”.

Rosberg’s former Mercedes team-mate Hamilton also got in on the action, calling Rosberg “irrelevant“.

However, the German said that when he was competing in Formula 1, criticism from ex-drivers was something that irritated him and so he will work on the way he speaks about his former colleagues to avoid causing conflict in the future.

“When I was still active one of the things I hated most was ex-drivers or journalists telling me about comments that ex-drivers made about me, which came across in a critical way,” Rosberg said on his official YouTube channel.

“In my case it was often David Coulthard. It would drive me nuts, seriously it was horrible.

“So now we have the situation that journalists have been relaying some of my stuff, or some comments I said that were negative, to Lewis or even Max…you can imagine journalists must have annoyed him pretty much if he Insta stories about me.

“So I need to make a little bit of a change there because I don’t want (to upset) those guys, my ex-colleagues, whom I respect a lot.”

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Rosberg: Leclerc is now Ferrari No.1

Nico Rosberg described Sebastian Vettel’s performance in Monza as “unexplainable” and believes Charles Leclerc took Ferrari’s No.1 status.

Vettel earned himself a ten-second stop/go penalty after spinning in clear air at the Ascari chicane during lap six of the Italian GP, before returning to the track in front of Lance Stroll and causing front wing damage for them both.

The four-time World Champion would finish P13 and was handed three more points for his superlicence, while team-mate Charles Leclerc stormed his way to victory in front of the Tifosi.

And now 2016 World Champion Rosberg, who is never shy to give his opinion, believes Leclerc has become an “absolute Ferrari legend” and made Vettel the clear number two driver.

“It’s unexplainable to me,” Rosberg said whilst on Sky Sports F1 duties.

“I can’t explain it. He’s a four-time World Champion, one of the best guys out there. To make a mistake like that, on your own, spinning the car like that on the corner…it’s so strange.Rosberg

“Then coming back on the track like that afterwards…I mean I understand because you’re not just going to sit there and wait for the whole train to go by…but my goodness, this moment must be so dark for him.

“His team-mate just became an absolute Ferrari legend and has probably just taken No.1 status in the team from him. Vettel must be rock bottom.”

Rosberg did though praise Vettel’s mental strength and warned everyone not to write him off yet.

“Vettel is one of those guys with a lot of self-confidence so that will help him a lot through this,” he explained.

“In F1, it is so short-lived, it just takes one race and you’re back, so we should not write him off.”

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Verstappen: Rosberg is the new Villeneuve

Nico Rosberg is F1’s new Jacques Villeneuve, otherwise known as rent-a-quote, that’s according to Max Verstappen.

Stepping away from the cockpit of Mercedes at the end of 2016, Rosberg took up a commentary role which he has expanded into a YouTube channel.

The German – much like Villeneuve – gives his opinion on everything from F1, which often includes Verstappen.

Earlier this year he labelled the Red Bull driver a “narcissist” before later in the season saying he is the “best driver” on today’s grid.

However, that soured in Belgium when Verstappen crashed on the opening lap, with Rosberg saying he is back to his old tricks.

The 21-year-old isn’t impressed.

“I am not very interested in what he says on his channels,” Verstappen told Dutch publication Telegraaf.

“I think he is the new Jacques Villeneuve.

“He [Villeneuve] has come around, but now it looks like it’s Rosberg who constantly wants to share a controversial opinion.

“Maybe he wants to attract viewers or something? He does it very often.

“At the beginning of this year he called me a narcissist. That is very extreme.

“Maybe he wants to earn money with his YouTube channel. If he have driven on longer, he could have earned much more.”

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Rosberg: Verstappen back to ‘old self’ at Spa

Nico Rosberg felt Max Verstappen went back to his “old self” at Spa with an overly aggressive move at La Source during the Belgian Grand Prix.

Verstappen felt nobody was to blame for his early exit on race day, but criticism has followed from Alfa Romeo’s boss, Frederic Vasseur, and former World Champion Rosberg was also not impressed with the Dutchman’s decision making.

Verstappen’s run of consecutive top five finishes came to an end at 21 races and Rosberg feels that could have been avoided.

“Verstappen was back to his old self a little bit,” Rosberg said his Belgian Grand Prix post-race analysis via his YouTube channel.

“Just too aggressive, really too aggressive. I don’t understand how he just stays flat out even with the car broken. He has balls of steel but that didn’t make an awful lot of sense.”

But Rosberg did reserve praise for the likes of Lando Norris and Sergio Perez for their performances at Spa.

“Lando Norris…wow, what an epic drive he did again,” Rosberg added.

“He is such a rising star at the moment. For all of you that are British, he is going to be fun for you to watch in the future.

“But imagine how gutted you would be, last lap, you’re doing amazingly well and doing the best race of your career, 5th place and the car breaks down. How horrible is that?

“The racing gods can always throw in crazy things but great job from Lando.”

On Perez, he said: “He was awesome in the Racing Point car. I think they will go pretty well again in Monza.

“With low budget they always manage to create a good car and Perez is a great driver. He always gets the best out of it.”

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