Nico Rosberg accused of being 'naughty' in illegal overtake

Nico Rosberg was accused of being a "bit naughty" by Red Bull team boss Christian Horner following his illegal overtake on Max Verstappen in Sunday's German Grand Prix.

Rosberg, who crossed the line in fourth place following a torrid afternoon in front of his home fans, courted the attention of the stewards following his aggressive manoeuvre on lap 29 of the Hockenheim race.

After emerging from his second pit stop, Rosberg dived underneath Verstappen at the right-handed hairpin, but in his attempt to make the pass stick he was deemed to have forced his opponent off the road, and hit with a five-second penalty and latterly two points on his driver's licence.

Nico Rosberg accused of being 'naughty' in illegal overtake

The incident on Sunday bore more than a striking resemblance to Rosberg's dramatic last-lap crash with Hamilton at the Austrian Grand Prix earlier this month in which he was also penalised by the stewards.

"The problem is Rosberg did a pretty bad job of it," said Horner. "If he'd have locked up all four wheels and there had been a puff of tyre smoke, maybe he'd have got away with it.

"The golden rule in a job like that is to lock your fronts up and look as if you can't stop. The problem was, it looked like he kind of stopped, and then kept going as if he was off to Cologne and that's a bit naughty."

Naturally, Rosberg protested his innocence following the incident.

"Can you explain to them that I was at full lock on the steering wheel,'' the German said over the Mercedes team radio, but television replays suggested it was a rather implausible defence.

Later Rosberg, now 19 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the championship, added: "It was racing. I was really ecstatic at the time because I came from miles behind.

"I was very happy to get the position because that would have meant second at least, and damage limitation of that sort. I was very surprised to get a penalty for it."

To make matters worse, Rosberg was then stationary for longer than the required five-second penalty following a faulty Mercedes' stopwatch.

For Verstappen, who crossed the line in third to claim his second podium in four races, the stewards took the right decision.

"He braked really late and at one point I thought he was going to run into me so I opened up and then he didn't turn in," Verstappen said. "He was just driving straight so I had to go off the track otherwise we would have crashed."

With a grinning Hamilton sitting alongside him, Verstappen, 18, added: "That's not very handy as Lewis knows."

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