Former F1 champ says Rosberg tried to "destroy" Hamilton's race

Rosberg in-car Hungary

Jacques Villeneuve says Nico Rosberg tried to "destroy" his team-mate Lewis Hamilton's Hungarian Grand Prix.

The 1997 World Champion reckons Rosberg knew he had no shot at winning the race, but angled for Hamilton to be moved aside because it would harm the Brit’s chances - and thus help his own title bid.

"There was no reason or sense in the message because it was obvious that to let Nico by [Hamilton] would have lost two seconds in his own race," Villeneuve told BBC Radio 5 live afterwards.

"It wouldn't have helped Nico win because he was already losing his tyres and two laps later Nico was actually slower than Lewis.

"That's why Nico was complaining and whining because he knew that all he was wanting to do was to destroy Lewis' race, not to help his own. And it didn't work out.

“[Nico] knew his tyres were shot. He would have gotten in front of Lewis and then slowed him down and just made Lewis lose a lot of points.

"It would have made it a little bit easier to fight for the win, but Daniel Ricciardo was faster. He probably would have beaten Lewis, but that's it,” concluded Villeneuve.

Rosberg has since denied that he made the call asking for Hamilton to be moved aside.

Last week, Villeneuve suggested that Hamilton will leave Mercedes rather than sign a new deal as the team favour Rosberg

"Lewis will not be at Mercedes for long," he told German newspaper Sport Bild. "Everyone in the German team wants a German to be world champion. Lewis was only brought in to make Nico even better."

However after Sunday’s race Villeneuve added that Hamilton’s recent setbacks - including brake failure in qualifying for the German Grand Prix and an engine failure ahead of the Hungarian event - will only serve to make the Brit stronger.

"Lewis is used to fighting back now. And he seems to react better when things go wrong because he's used to them," said Villeneuve.