Nico Rosberg fires stern warning at Lewis Hamilton and George Russell

Lewis Hamilton caused an opening lap collision in Qatar between himself and Mercedes team-mate George Russell.

2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg has insisted that what happened between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell at the Qatar Grand Prix “can’t happen”, given how it was a hugely costly moment for Mercedes.

Hamilton and Russell collided at the opening corner following an error by the seven-time World Champion, who didn’t give his team-mate enough room at the turn.

Russell started the race in second on the Medium compound whilst Hamilton started in third on the Softs, meaning he had much better grip off the line.

Unsurprisingly, it was Hamilton who made the better start, with him having been eager to make the most of the softest compound.

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Hamilton had to be “aggressive” to ensure that his strategy was effective, which meant he had to try and get past Russell instantly.

The 38-year-old attempted this at the opening corner by swooping around the outside; however, his right-rear tyre struck Russell’s front wing as he didn’t give his team-mate enough space.

Both drivers span as a result, with Russell having, thankfully, been able to rejoin the race at the back of the pack, whilst Hamilton became beached in the gravel and lost a wheel.

The Stevenage-born driver was forced to retire from the race, before later accepting “full responsibility” for causing the accident.

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It marked a massively missed opportunity for Mercedes to claim a double podium, something which would’ve also happened at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, had Rosberg and Hamilton not collided on the exit of Turn 3.

Rosberg insisted that Mercedes won’t have “much to discuss” following the collision in Qatar, with it ultimately having all been caused by Hamilton’s “small mistake that had big consequences”.

“There isn’t that much to discuss,” Rosberg said on Sky Deutschland.

“It’s relatively one-sided. Lewis was trying hard since he was on softs. He was fast enough to try to get past Verstappen, but I think he miscalculated and came a bit too early and they were three drivers there.

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“He made a small mistake that had big consequences.

“Things like this can’t happen. One can argue that Mercedes gave the driver on the back soft tyres and that obviously lead to the issue.

“Lewis with the softs had to be aggressive, or he would have fallen back.”