A very disappointed Nico Rosberg
confirmed that he had been left with nowhere to go when confronted by Mark Webber's Red Bull
machine just two laps into a rain-soaked Korean Grand Prix.
The German had raised expectations for the inaugural event in Yeongam by qualifying fifth on the grid and, having had to trail the safety car for 17 laps - either side of a red flag - until conditions were deemed suitable for racing, made short work of passing Lewis Hamilton
for fourth almost as soon as the green flag flew.
Unfortunately, however, that left him in the firing line when Webber dropped his car over the kerb exiting turn twelve next time around and, as the Australian careered back and forth across the circuit, Rosberg was left with a difficult choice to make.
"It was really difficult to judge which way Mark's car would go, and I took the decision to go left, but he spun more and more that way and I just couldn't avoid him," the German lamented, a potential podium finish having gone begging.
"We had a near perfect weekend with the car until the collision. Qualifying in fifth place was great and the car has felt good all weekend. The team has done a great job here, and the straight-line speed that we had enabled me to overtake Hamilton early in the race, so it's a big shame that my race was ended early. We could have had a great result today."
With long-time leader Sebastian Vettel
retiring late on with an engine failure, Hamilton came through to finish second, a position that could easily have been Rosberg's after he pulled away from the Briton early on.
"It was a shame for Nico, who certainly had the possibility of finishing on the podium, given that he was ahead of Lewis - who ultimately finished second - when he was caught up in Mark Webber's incident," Mercedes' Norbert Haug confirmed.
There was some comfort for the Three Pointed Star, however, as the regenmeister
of old returned to its second car, Michael Schumacher reprising his best result of the season in fourth place.
"I am pretty happy with today's race, and I have to say thank you to my team, who guided me perfectly through the afternoon," the seven-time champion admitted, "I am sure that the spectators had a lot of fun here today, but the only shame was that Nico was put out of the race, otherwise we would have seen a very good weekend for our team."