2016 Formula One champion Nico Rosberg has called on Sebastian Vettel to raise his game after the German lost even more ground to Lewis Hamilton in the race for the drivers' title following the Italian Grand Prix.
Vettel's chances of ending Ferrari's win drought at Monza were eradicated when he collided with title rival Hamilton on the opening lap, sending him spinning and damaging his car. While he was able to recover to fourth, Hamilton stormed to a fifth career win in Italy, meaning the Mercedes driver now sits 30 points clear at the top of the drivers' championship with seven rounds remaining.
Rosberg beat Hamilton to the 2016 title before retiring and feels Vettel has to improve if he is to defeat Hamilton.
"You cannot beat Lewis Hamilton to a championship by making so many mistakes, that's a fact," Rosberg said to Sky Sports F1. "So he's got to sort that out, otherwise it's not going to happen.
"Lewis has no fault because he leaves plenty of space. There is nothing you can blame him for. Sebastian runs too wide, gets into Lewis and spins out. That was the end of it, 110 percent Sebastian's fault.
"These are the opportunities you need to use against Lewis and he just doesn't use them. Whenever he gets the opportunity he just wastes them, totally. And now there is going to be some more difficult races coming up. It's not going well."
Rosberg was full of praise for his former teammate following the race, claiming his performance at Monza showed why he is one of the ''best of all time''.
"Epic drive from Lewis, that's why he's considered one of the best out there - and one of the best of all time," he said. "He showed it again today, in an inferior car.
"He nailed the start and got past Sebastian, made him [make] a huge mistake, which put him all the way back. Then he got Kimi [Raikkonen] as well. It doesn't get better than that."