Nico Rosberg says Sebastian Vettel was “out of control” and “t-boned” him at the start of the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Rosberg was spun round at Turn 1 when Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel dived down the inside of Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
The contact between the three put Vettel out – with broken front left suspension – while Rosberg dropped to last, before eventually coming back through the pack to claim the final place on the podium.
“I thought it all over [at the start],” Rosberg said. “I just got t-boned by a four-time world champion.
“[He was] out of control,”
Verstappen similarly felt Vettel was at fault: “Into Turn 1, I braked late and I was still behind Nico, and Sebastian just dived up the inside and just went really deep. There was definitely no space for that and he t-boned Nico.”
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Despite that, however, Rosberg was able to fight his way back to third by the finish, and with team-mate Lewis Hamilton suffering an engine failure while seemingly on course for the victory, the German extends his Championship lead to 23 points with five races to go.
Asked if it feels a bit like a win, given how the race started, Rosberg replied: “It doesn't feel like a win because it is only third place and today was a tough day because after Turn 1 I thought it was finished.
“But of course, yeah happy with the come back to get all the way back on the podium. I definitely didn't think that was going to be possible. And for Lewis. I have been in his position and I know how terrible it is in that moment. I am sure he is totally gutted.”
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Rosberg's race wasn't without controversy itself though, and he himself made contact with the other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen on lap 38, handed a 10-sec penalty after barging by the Finn into Turn 2.
“I went for it and we touched and that is it,” Rosberg remarked. “I can't remember the details. It was for sure an aggressive move and they [the stewards] judged it a bit too aggressive and that is it.”
Meanwhile, Rosberg added it was disappointing for Mercedes not to be able to get the win and secure the Constructors'.
“For sure we were hoping to get it here. It would have been great because it is our home away from home here in Sepang and in front of all the Petronas people and in front of all the Malaysians that are supporting us, it would have been awesome. But we are really looking good on that side, so if it is not here we hope to be able to do it soon on another track,” he concluded.
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