Formula 1

Nico Rosberg showing old weaknesses in Australia

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Apart from the occasional reminder and a pit-stop you could have easily forgotten two Mercedes were leading at the front of the Australian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were never much more than four seconds apart at any point of the race in Melbourne yet there was a never a time when the world champions' victory at Albert Park looked under threat.

From an incredible lap in qualifying to the controlled pace on Sunday this was Hamilton at his brilliant and, as Niki Lauda put it at one point last year, unbeatable best and it sends a very big warning to his team-mate across the garage and the rest of the F1 grid.

Rosberg admission highlights mental weakness

Rosberg himself admitted there was nothing more he could do to stop the Briton taking the chequered flag and on the podium described the Briton's performance as that of a champion.

Those comments by themselves are concerning for those who want a strong season-long battle between the two drivers, not so much in a context of what he was saying, but the fact that he was saying it at all.

If Hamilton's confidence was high before, it'll be on the moon as he hears his team-mate accept he was simply out-driven and its that to me outlines a key weakness Rosberg has, winning the mental game.

Vettel pokes fun at Mercedes battle

The German needs to knock some of that confidence from Hamilton if he wants to beat him this year and instead he rather added to it by praising his team-mate but, interestingly, the weakness was also on show during a little exchange between himself and Sebastian Vettel after the race.

In the press conference, the Ferrari driver had questioned a comment by Rosberg suggesting he wanted other teams to close up to Mercedes for the good of the show. Then, when Vettel later claimed he was disappointed by his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen's retirement, Rosberg took the chance to fire back questioning whether the four-time champion was actually sad to see the Finn pull out.

“Yes… I don't know how much you like each other [Rosberg and Hamilton] but Kimi and myself we get along, so I think it is a shame,” Vettel was quoted as saying by

Rosberg wasn't really able to come back from that jibe proving that while Vettel can mix the smiley persona with the determination to become a champion, arguably, Rosberg can not and it's that which cost him last year against Hamilton and could easily do so again this season.

Malaysia already key in title battle

With that in mind, despite Australia only being the first of a potential 20 Grands Prix, with concerns over the German and Russian races continuing, already there's a sense that if Lewis wins in Malaysia in a similar fashion will Rosberg be able to respond?

Of course if you are a Hamilton fan the prospect of what could be a record braking season, if the Briton keeps his advantage over Nico at each race, is incredible but F1 has had so many uncompetitive races and seasons that for the sport overall it would be a disaster.

Hamilton upping the ante

It was always going to be a possibility that after Hamilton took the title last year he would up his game again to perhaps a level Rosberg couldn't match, after all it was the first big win for Sebastian Vettel in 2010 that would spark his superiority over Mark Webber for the three years to come, therefore for the sake of a competitive season a Rosberg win in Sepang is all but essential.

The rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg has always been a battle of natural talent versus brains and calculation, so when it comes to an one-on-one situation, its often the one with the heart that beats the other with the brain and that was the case in Melbourne and could well be for the rest of the season.

Which driver will win this season's F1 championship? Have your say in the comments below!

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Formula 1

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