Formula 1 - Rosberg: Crash with Hamilton was my fault

Nico Rosberg has admitted that he caused that smash that put his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton out of the Belgian Grand Prix - and allowed him to claim a podium spot that stretches his championship lead.

Formula 1 - Rosberg: Crash with Hamilton was my fault

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Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton

And the German driver - who now leads the championship by 29 points - said as much to Hamilton as he apologised in an "intense" debriefing at Mercedes HQ.

"I analysed the whole situation in a lot of detail and reached the conclusion that I had to take responsibility for what happened," he wrote in his Daily Mail column.

"It was my error of judgement.

"It didn’t matter what part of right and wrong was involved, the fact is that it happened and I did not do a good enough job to avoid a collision between our two cars."

Those words come a long way short of Hamilton's fiery outburst in the aftermath of the incident, in which he claimed that Rosberg had admitted that he "basically did it on purpose" - and there is no denying that with the gap standing at 29 points with just seven races left this season, time is running out for Hamilton to close the gap on a man who is both his team-mate and his greatest rival this season.

Rosberg claimed that such considerations had never entered his mind during the race.

"The result enabled me to extend my lead in the championship, but when I left the circuit I hadn't really thought about that. I was concerned and distraught about the situation; one thing is for sure: I wasn't happy," he added.

"In hindsight, the collision was my responsibility because I was the car trying to overtake, so I have to accept that I made a mistake and to apologise," added Rosberg, who was fined a reported £100,000 by his team.

"I really hope my apology will be accepted by the Formula One fans who have been critical of me. I was booed on the podium - which wasn't a nice feeling - but I understand that people had travelled a long way to see a great race between Lewis and myself, and they did not get that.

"I totally respect their opinion and I hope that in time they will accept my apology."

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