2016 Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg believes Sebastian Vettel’s costly crash while leading the German Grand Prix will go down as one of the darkest moments of his career.

Polesitter Vettel had led most of Sunday’s race in Hockenheim and looked to be on course to record his first victory at the circuit when light rain began to fall in the closing stages.

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The Ferrari driver lost control of his car and slid off at the Sachs Kurve in the damp conditions, throwing away any chance of the win.

The incident opened the door for chief title rival Lewis Hamilton to take a remarkable victory despite starting from 14th on the grid following a hydraulic failure on his Mercedes car during qualifying. As a result, Vettel, who held an eight-point advantage heading to Germany, now trails Hamilton by 17 points.

"Vettel was such a favourite, he did everything perfectly until that lap in the race," Rosberg said in a post-race Vlog. "Suddenly it started raining a bit but he had such an advantage, he could have taken out a little speed and played it safer.

“He pushed too much and shunted it and shoved it into the wall all on his own. Such a shame. That’s a tough one, so, so tough and I really feel for him.

"I think he's going to remember that as one of the darkest moments of his whole career. In front of his home crowd here with such a chance to get a huge points haul over Lewis, he puts it away like that. That's so bad.”

Rosberg said Hamilton’s performance showed why it is dangerous to write him off, particularly when the Briton faces adversity.

“Then on the other side is Lewis. Never write off Lewis because he always comes back, wherever he is,” he added. “He showed that again having started at the back, worked his way up, was hugely fast, made all the right decisions and showed fighting spirit and won the damn thing which is unbelievable.”

And Rosberg is predicting the excitement to continue into the second half of the season, adding he expects the momentum in the title fight to keep swinging back and forth between Hamilton and Vettel given the gains Ferrari has made with its power unit.

"I think we're up for many more exciting races to come, because it's going to keep on going up and down even though at the moment Ferrari have such a a big power advantage, five-tenths a second per lap in qualifying at the moment. It's huge. They've found something incredible in that engine," he explained.

“It’s 20 per cent more power from the battery that they're extracting even though the battery power is limited by law in Formula 1, so it's really not easy to understand what they're doing, they've found something magical there, but the FIA says it's legal so we have to believe them."

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