The dramatic final lap of the Australian Grand Prix featured one driver crashing out and the final three points-finishers crossing the line practically together, concluding a promising start to the 2012 season.
Higher up, the battle for fifth place resulted in Pastor Maldonado pushing his challenger to the edge and losing control of his car after he chased Fernando Alonso for the coveted position.
The Williams driver subsequently retired with just a few corners remaining.
Consequently Sergio Perez, who had started 22nd, had to back off because of the debris but then Rosberg overtook his Sauber with the two cars touching, and the Mexican losing his position.
Kamui Kobayashi, who was running in ninth, profited from the scrap passing by for sixth whereas Rosberg dropped to 12th.
"The race did not turn out as we had hoped," Rosberg said. "The end was particularly unfortunate with Perez when we touched on the straight, causing a puncture which took away a points scoring finish."
Further back, the results may not have been as disastrous as it was for Rosberg or Maldonado but there were plenty of gains and losses nevertheless.
"It’s just a shame that at the end I tried too hard and lost too much ground," said Jean-Eric Vergne who lost an opportunity to score the final point on his debut after the final corner.
In the closing stages of the third sector on the last lap, the Toro Rosso driver tried just a little bit too hard which cost him tenth place, and a point, to Paul di Resta.
The Force India driver didn't really expect to open his tally after the Scot struggled for pace at the start of each stint during the race, but managed to turn it around in the dash to the line.
“It’s always nice to start the season with a point, but it was not looking too promising until the last few laps when my engineer told me that I was catching the cars ahead of me," di Resta said. "Fortunately I had saved quite a bit of KERS for the last corner, which helped me get a good run on Vergne and beat him to the line for tenth."
Local driver Daniel Ricciardo meanwhile tip-toed through the melee to collect two points in his first home race, a feat achieved by compatriot Mark Webber a decade ago.
"The last few laps were crazy and I was pushing like hell," was the Australian's simple explanation.