Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg has slammed Max Verstappen’s comments after he finished second in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The Sun reports the Dutchman kicked off the 2023 season in superb style with a convincing victory in Bahrain.
But mechanical problems on Saturday then saw him qualify 15th for the race in Jeddah.
And while he comfortably recovered to move into second place, Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez claimed his first win of the year ahead of the reigning world champion.
After the race, Verstappen said: “I recovered to second which is good and in general the whole feeling in the team is happy.
“But personally I am not happy. I am not here to be second, especially when you are working very hard back at the factory to come here in a good state and making sure everything is spot on.”
He then went on to add: “When you are fighting for a championship and it looks like it is just between two cars (Verstappen and Perez) you have to make sure the two cars are reliable.
“We have to do better, absolutely — a cleaner weekend would be nice.”
Rosberg, who twice lost out to Lewis Hamilton in the 2014 and 2015 championships before getting the better of him in 2016, was left unimpressed by Verstappen’s comments.
Speaking on Sky Sports, the ex-Mercedes star said: “It is not good to see.
“We were also told he skipped the team meeting (after qualifying) apparently.
“I don’t think it’s a good approach or mentality so early in the season when the team has done such a brilliant job and worked so hard. I think he could be more gracious.”
Verstappen’s father Jos also raised eyebrows when he completely snubbed Perez after his victory when he was being mobbed by Red Bull’s crew in the pit lane.
Verstappen wasn’t happy about finishing second, while Perez was fuming with his own team with the communication that was being given to him during the latter stages of the race as Verstappen pinched the fastest lap on the final lap of the race.
With only the two Red Bulls seemingly in contention for the championship, some pundits believe the simmering tension between Verstappen and Perez could boil over this season.
Verstappen leads Perez by one point in the drivers’ championship heading into the third race of the season in Australia after making sure to score the extra point for the fastest lap in Saudi Arabia.
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