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Hamilton Imola dejection saddens Rosberg

Hamilton Imola dejection saddens Rosberg

Hamilton Imola dejection saddens Rosberg

Hamilton Imola dejection saddens Rosberg

Former F1 champion Nico Rosberg conceded it was "tough to see" former team-mate and rival Lewis Hamilton's dejected demeanour at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Hamilton was able to qualify only 13th for the first F1 sprint of the season at Imola, before slipping to 14th in Saturday's 21-lap event.

In the race, the seven-time champion was unable to make progress as he found himself in a train from the start, even when DRS was finally activated from lap 34.

Hamilton was also nearly taken out in the pit lane by Alpine's Esteban Ocon before salt was rubbed in the wounds when he was lapped by last year's title rival Max Verstappen who enjoyed a commanding victory.

After watching Hamilton's post-race interview for Sky Sports F1, Rosberg said: “That was tough to see Lewis in that state just now, really down, which is understandable.

“It is a long season, but they are nowhere with that car, so they’re not even going to be able to fight for race wins anytime soon.

“It’s difficult for Lewis to keep his motivation up. I think he will manage because he really is a fighter, and remember, there is always that thing that he still wants to beat his team-mate. That’s really, really important to him."

George Russell finished a superb fourth from 11th on the grid to maintain his record of finishing in the top five in each of the first four races.

Rosberg added: “With George performing so well, that could be the biggest motivator for Lewis to just keep going, keep fighting.

"He does not want to see George in front of him ever again, so I think that will keep the fire on, which is great.”

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