The Mercedes of Nico Rosberg spins out of control after being hit by Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel. Picture: Fazry Ismail / EPA

Sepang, Malaysia - Sebastian Vettel has apologised for his crash into Nico Rosberg at the start of the Malaysian Grand Prix, in a telephone call on Sunday.

The Ferrari driver hit Rosberg on the first corner of the race in an overtaking attempt, but only ended up writing off his own vehicle and forcing Rosberg to drop back through the field.

“Sebastian just called me actually, so he apologised, which was nice,” Rosberg said on his YouTube video channel.

“It doesn't get me back the points that I lost but it is still nice to hear that.”

The current Drivers' championship leader managed to fight back to third position, but was never in the hunt for the race win.

“It was amazing that the car survived,” the Mercedes driver said.

Race stewards determined that Vettel had made a “small error” in the crash. The 29-year-old will now have to start three places further back this coming Sunday in the Japanese Grand Prix.

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