Nico Rosberg gives Max Verstappen advice on attacking Lewis Hamilton’s ‘weak phases’

Nico Rosberg beat Lewis Hamilton to the F1 title in 2016

Nico Rosberg has given Max Verstappen some Formula 1 title advice, telling the Dutchman to exploit Lewis Hamilton’s “weak phases”.

The German was the last driver to beat Hamilton to the crown back in 2016, after a bitter four-season rivalry in which the Mercedes team-mates routinely clashed in public and made contact on track. This season has seen Hamilton face a sustained, full season challenge from a rival since Rosberg retired immediately after winning his championship.

Verstappen currently leads the standings by 19 points with four races remaining, having taken a vital victory at the Mexico City Grand Prix last weekend. Hamilton has dominated the hybrid engine era, winning ever title bar Rosberg’s one since 2014, but his prospects for this season are diminishing with every race.

When discussing what Verstappen needs to do to maintain his advantage, Rosberg told f1-insider.com: “You have to take advantage of Lewis’ weak phases. When he loses his motivation and his head. Then it’s full attack! In other words, you have to get the maximum number of points possible, because you should never write Lewis off. He always comes back.”

The 36-year-old was also full of praise for the 24-year-old Red Bull driver, who has taken nine victories from 18 races so far this season, compared to Hamilton’s five.

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“Max is really super strong,” he said. “Mental strength is essential in a duel like this. It’s certainly not easy for Max, because it’s the first time he’s been in such a situation. And then against the most successful Formula 1 driver of all time. In this respect, he already deserves the greatest recognition.”

Rosberg was also asked about his own rivalry with Hamilton, and whether the seven-time world champion’s achievements in the years since their rivalry make him think more about the scale of his own success five years ago.

“Very often! Every time I see Lewis win – who now has 100 wins – it becomes clearer why it wasn’t that easy for me to beat him.”

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