Nico Rosberg believes Sebastian Vettel needs to raise his game and cut out the mistakes if he is to beat Lewis Hamilton to the 2018 Formula 1 world championship.

Vettel’s chances of securing Ferrari’s first victory at Monza since 2010 were blown when he clashed with title rival Hamilton on the opening lap of the Italian Grand Prix, sending him spinning and plummeting to the back of the field.

While the German turned in a strong recovery drive with a damaged car to finish fourth, Hamilton took full advantage and passed polesitter Kimi Raikkonen to seal an important win and extend his points advantage at the top of the drivers’ standings to 30 points.

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Rosberg, who spent four years as Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes and beat the Briton to the 2016 title before retiring, feels Vettel needs to improve.

"You cannot beat Lewis Hamilton to a championship by making so many mistakes, that's a fact," Rosberg said to Sky Sports F1. “So he's got to sort that out, otherwise it's not going to happen.

"Lewis has no fault, because he leaves plenty of space. There is nothing you can blame him for. Sebastian runs too wide, gets into Lewis and spins out. That was the end of it, 110% Sebastian's fault.

“These are the opportunities you need to use against Lewis and he just doesn't use them. Whenever he gets the opportunity he just wastes them, totally. And now there is going to be some more difficult races coming up. It's not going well."

In a post-race video blog, Rosberg added: “Vettel is just not going to be world champion if he continues like that.

“Against Lewis you have to do everything perfect and Vettel’s not doing that at the moment so he needs to adapt and change because he needs to improve and raise his game.”

And Rosberg reckons Hamilton’s performance at Monza demonstrates he is driving “at the peak of his career” after delivering a “blow” to Ferrari at its home race.

"It was an epic drive from Lewis,” he explained. “That is why he is considered to be one of the best of all time. He showed it again today in an inferior car.

“He nailed the start, got Sebastian, which made him have a huge mistake, and then got Kimi as well. It doesn't get better than that. Hamilton is driving phenomenally and is surely at the peak of his career.

"He has delivered in the crucial moment here in Monza and has done such a blow towards Ferrari here this weekend at their home race, where they were the odds-on favourite."

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