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Published: 18:35 | 1/5/16

Rosberg hails ‘awesome’ Mercedes

German delighted following Russian GP win

Nico Rosberg said that he has "seldom had a better car" following his victory at the Russian Grand Prix.

Having secured pole position, Rosberg was able to cruise to the win in Sochi, opening up a 43-lead in the drivers' standings over his Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton.

"I was feeling really comfortable today, especially at the end," the German said in the post-race press conference.

"In the last 15 (laps), I opened the gas and pushed a little bit more because I knew it was safe to push and definitely get to the end of the race with that set of tyres.

"The car was working really well - the whole weekend, even in qualifying.

"Seldom have I had such an awesome car."

Hamilton battled back from a power-unit problem that saw him qualify in 10th place to finish second behind his fellow Mercedes driver.

However, the Englishman believes that he could have challenged for the race win late on, had a water-pressure issue not scuppered his hopes of doing so.

When asked whether he would have otherwise caught Rosberg, Hamilton replied: "I think it's impossible to really say but the car felt good.

"At that time, I was lapping a little bit quicker than Nico, so I was chewing away. There was quite a big gap but it did come down from 13 seconds to 7.5 or something like that.

"It was then that I had to back off and drive a second slower through the laps, just trying to hope that the car was going to make it.

“Because I had no indication or didn't really know what the biggest issue was, or whether the engine was going to make it, I just tried to nurse it home."

Rosberg has won all of the events so far season but is certain that Hamilton will recover to present a major challenge.

"It's four races from 21," said the former Williams driver.

"Lewis is going to come back, of course. He's on it and is as motivated as ever.

"So, it's early days, (and I'm) just taking it race by race, looking forward to Spain now.

"We have such an incredible car, which is really a pleasure to drive, so I just want to try to win races."

By David Maher

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