On the day when Hamilton triumphed at the Russian Grand Prix with consummate ease for his 31st career win, Rosberg conceded he locked up during a rush of blood on the opening lap when he misjudged his effort to pass the Englishman at Turn Two in Sunday’s race.
“I was in a battle with Lewis and I messed up,” he said. “It was a bad mistake too. It was my corner — or I thought it was — but it was the first time arriving there at full speed with full fuel.
“I thought I wouldn’t get into the top 10 after that, but the car was amazing.”
Rosberg’s mistake on lap one forced him to make a pit stop for new tyres and then complete 52 laps on one set of tyres, rising from the back of the field to finish second behind Hamilton.
Their ninth one-two of a remarkable season secured the Mercedes team’s maiden triumph in the constructors’ triumph.
But Rosberg added it was not an easy race for him.
“There was one phase when I had a lot of degradation. I got a lot of over-steer and I thought they (tyres) wouldn’t make it to the end of race,” he added.
“I was nursing them a lot. In the end, I could have got more out of them. I was driving the whole race on tyres that they said you cannot do any more than 29 laps on them.
“Now, I need to continue to attack and I need to look to win them all — the next three races are my favourites.”