Nico Rosberg admits he was 'surprised' Lewis Hamilton attempted to pass him where he did at the start of the Spanish Grand Prix after the two Mercedes drivers came together on the opening lap, saying he thought his defence was definitive enough.

Having beaten pole sitter Hamilton onto the run to turn one, Rosberg was left vulnerable on the exit of turn three when an incorrect setting left him without as much power. Allowing Hamilton to close quickly, he moved to the inside, only for Rosberg to defend the line.

With Hamilton taking to the grass, he lost control of the W07 and spun into Rosberg at the apex of the corner, eliminating both from the race.

Related Articles

With Mercedes refusing to point the finger of blame to either, Rosberg felt vindicated in his actions, feeling his defence should have been firm enough for Hamilton not to attempt a pass in the first place.

"I had a great start and was really excited about the first corner move and getting the lead and then I was sure it was my race to win. Coming out of Turn 3 I noticed I was down on engine power - which now I know it was because I was in an incorrect engine mode.

"I saw Lewis closing in and as soon as I could, I closed the door, I went to the inside. It was a clear, strong move, to make sure he understood there was not going to be any space there and I was very surprised he went for it anyway.

"That's it, then we're in the sand trap. I wasn't surprised because I didn't see him, I was surprised he still went for the inside gap."

With stewards also ruling no punishment should be apportioned to either driver, Rosberg says he will accept the final say from the team.

"I think in the end we have to go with what the experts think and the experts decided it was a racing incident. I don't want to comment on any of that, we just need to stick with what the Stewards decided."