Nico Rosberg has taken a swipe at Max Verstappen for his reportedly poor decision to not attend the Red Bull debrief on Saturday evening, following a failed driveshaft that left him in 15th on the grid for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The Dutchman has started the 2023 season in fine form, dominating the season-opening race in Bahrain, and continuing to top the timesheets in the practice sessions at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
But the qualifying session saw Verstappen suffer a driveshaft failure, costing him the chance to get a lap time in.
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Rosberg was surprised by Verstappen’s reaction as he spoke to the media after qualifying, as it was reported that Verstappen left the track ‘angrily’ and decided to skip the Red Bull debrief at the end of the day. This decision has been labelled ‘weak’ by Rosberg.
“I think that’s weak at first. What kind of sign is that for the whole team,” a far from impressed Rosberg said on Sky Sports.
Despite his alleged rage after qualifying, Verstappen returned to the track on Sunday with optimism and pushed his way through the field to finish second. Verstappen was still irritated by the reliability difficulties that cost him the qualifying race.
“It’s not only about the pace of the car, we need to make sure we are reliable without any issues,” he said.
“My first weekend was not very clean because of just the big balance shift from testing to the race weekend, some other things which were going on in the background. Now again, after three positive practice sessions, I have an issue in qualifying.
“Of course, I recovered to second which is good. In general the whole feeling in the team, everyone is happy – but personally I’m not happy because I’m not here to be second.
“Especially when you are working very hard back at the factory, to make sure you arrive here in a good state, and making sure everything is spot on. Then you have to do the recovery race.
“I don’t mind doing it, but when you are fighting for a championship, when it looks like it’s just between two cars, you have to make sure those two cars are reliable. We have to do better, absolutely. Just to have a cleaner weekend, I think that would be nice.”