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Mercedes F1: Nico Rosberg apologises to Lewis Hamilton

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton made slight contact at the start, and the German offered an apology.

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Nico Rosberg apologised to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton after the defending Formula One champion suggested he was pushed wide at the start of the Australian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes pair qualified on the front row in Melbourne but were overtaken by Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari ahead of turn one.

Rosberg ran the corner wide from the inside of the track, his left-rear wheel making slight contact with Hamilton's front wing, though no damage was done.

Recounting the event, Hamilton said: "My [start] was quite eventful but fortunately I didn't get any damage but obviously lost a lot of ground.

"I was on the outside of Nico and Nico was forced wide or something maybe and I was on the outside of him so a little bit on the astro turf and the grass so I lost a little bit of ground."

Rosberg insisted it was not his intention to force his team-mate to the outside of the track, but offered an apology.

"I just realised now when Lewis was mentioning it, so I will have to look at it," he said.

"If I did push you out wide then I apologise of course, that was not the intention. I was of kind of on the edge myself as you could see."

Though Mercedes recovered for a one-two finish, with Rosberg taking victory, he acknowledged Ferrari pose a serious threat this season.

"I'm just happy to have won the race and beaten everybody else, that's what I'm ecstatic about," he added.

"It's early days but this is the perfect start. We have to keep an eye on the red guys, they are really close and we need to give it everything to stay ahead.

"It was a great fight and a great race and I'm really pleased, to win the first race of the season was awesome. It was a good kick-start to the season."

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