Russian GP: Nico Rosberg rues 'very unnecessary' lap one mistake

Formula 1 championship contender Nico Rosberg labelled his mistake at the start of the Russian Grand Prix as "very unnecessary"

Russian GP: Nico Rosberg rues 'very unnecessary' lap one mistake

The Mercedes driver made a better start than polesitting team-mate Lewis Hamilton, and dived down the inside of the first corner.

Rosberg looked set to lead the race at that point, but he had a massive lock-up of both his front tyres and ended up having to go off the track.

His tyres were so damaged Rosberg had to pit right away, dropping to the bottom of the pack.

He managed to recover to second place, however, and minimised the damage in a race dominated by Hamilton.

"It was just a mistake on my side," said Rosberg. "I just braked too late, that was it. Very unnecessary. It was my corner and should have been the lead I had. Very disappointed with that.

"After that my tyres were square so I couldn't see where I was going and had to pit. I thought that was the end of the day but then partly I'm happy to have managed to get back all the way to second.

"In hindsight, I could have pushed more during the race. It's always easy to know more afterwards. In the end my tyres were fine. It is a pity but difficult to know that during the race."

Rosberg believes he could have made the corner and kept the lead had he not locked up.

"I think it was definitely doable and I just messed up. Very simple explanation. I braked too late and too hard."

The German now trails Hamilton by 17 points with three races - and 100 points - still available.

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER 16 OF 19 ROUNDS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 291
2 Nico Rosberg 274
3 Daniel Ricciardo 199
4 Valtteri Bottas 145
5 Sebastian Vettel 143

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