Nico Rosberg has refuted the idea winning F1 races while his rivals are hampered with issues is 'an open goal' and feels he always has to produce his maximum.

The Mercedes driver has stormed to four wins in the opening four Grand Prixs this year and after Lewis Hamilton's ongoing bad run of technical issues he now holds a 43-point lead in the F1 world championship over his team-mate.

Despite Rosberg's perfect start to the season, which sees him extend his consecutive wins run to seven which started in Mexico last year, the German has benefitted from his title rivals' struggles.

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In Russia, Hamilton was forced to start from 10th after an issue with his MGU-H unit which prevented him from setting a time in Q3 while Vettel was shunted out of the race in a first-lap collision with Daniil Kvyat after starting down the order due to a grid penalty for a gearbox change.

The German driver has refuted the idea it has been easier for him to convert his advantages into wins in 2016, reiterating his comments that Hamilton is driving 'as strong as ever', and feels it will be key that he responds if his winning-run comes to an end.

"Winning F1 races is not like an open goal, I must say that," Rosberg said. "I don't think that's a great comparison. But anyway, of course it's not something I could have expected, winning four races, of course not. But now that's the way it is and I've been happy with it and it's been very enjoyable. I'm aware it won't continue like that forever, that's for sure.

"Sport is all about ups and downs and the down will come at some point and I just need to mentally prepare for that to then come straight back up when that does happen. It's special to have a car like this for the third year in a row now, I don't think anybody has had that in the history of the sport either -- to have such an awesome car for such a long time.

"I have a good points lead, but there are still 425 points up for grabs and I am only 40-something points ahead now. With 425 points left to go it is not even worth talking about yet at this point in time. As I say, Lewis is driving as strong as ever as we have seen in the last couple of weeks, so for so sure he will bounce back and he doesn't have an issue with fighting back in his head."