Nico Hulkenberg says there was nothing he could do to prevent his first lap collision with Marcus Ericsson, which resulted in both drivers being wiped out of the race.

The Force India driver says he took a normal approach into the tight turn two at the Russian Grand Prix but on cold tyres off of the starting grid he lost control of his rear which sent him helplessly spinning into oncoming traffic.

The unsighted Ericsson had nowhere to go and ploughed into the side of Hulkenberg, while Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen was bumped by the Force India car and suffered a punctured left rear tyre.

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The German driver says he didn't change his approach into the turn and it was the 'unique situation' of the opening lap which caused the collision. With tyres and brakes slightly below the ideal operating temperatures it disturbed the balance of the car and with the pack closely bunched his rivals had no time to take avoiding action.

"I didn't have the best of starts, but then I was able to pick the ideal line on the approach to turn two," Hulkenberg said. "Unfortunately, I locked the rears going into turn two and when that happens you just end up in a spin. I hoped the whole field would get past without hitting me but unfortunately Ericsson got stuck with me and I couldn't move away.

"The first lap is always a unique situation: I didn't brake any later, but with cold tyres it's really tricky and once the tyres locked there was nothing I could do to save it."

Ericsson says the lap one incident left him feeling downbeat but shrugged it off as a racing incident, a view also held by race direction who didn't hand out penalties to either driver for the incident.

"The start was good as I was able to overtake a few cars going down to turn two," Ericsson said. "Then I suddenly saw Nico Hulkenberg facing the wrong way. I had nowhere to go and went into him. This is very disappointing as the car was quite competitive here. A missed opportunity, which is frustrating for me."