Rosberg helpless as he loses F1 title lead
SINGAPORE (AP) — Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg says he experienced a “horrible feeling” when he was forced to retire early from the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday and then watch teammate Lewis Hamilton win the race to reclaim the lead in the Formula One drivers’ championship.
Rosberg first had a problem when driving out from the pits to the grid before the race, with team principal Toto Wolff later saying a broken loom in the steering column caused a knock-on effect on the car’s electronics and gear selection.
When the car would not start for the warm-up lap, he was forced to given up his No. 2 spot on the grid and start from the pit lane. Though the team did get the car started, he lasted only 14 laps before conceding defeat and retiring.
“It was a horrible feeling to see everyone go because then I knew it was over,” Rosberg said. “Then the whole steering wheel wasn’t working so I had no hybrid power and my shifting was shifting two gears at a time and I had no DRS so the car just wasn’t working at all. And then there was just no point in continuing. So a tough day really.”
When Rosberg came into the pits, the team tried to reset all the electronics, and handed him his third steering wheel of the night, but after furiously twisting the wheel and pushing the buttons and paddles in an attempt to bring the car to life, the German eventually waved his arms to signal it was all over, and he regretfully stepped from the car.
The German led the championship standings by 26 points going into the previous Italian Grand Prix, but is now three points behind Hamilton with five races to go.
“I don’t think about the past too much. I have been through the past and I make the most of it for the future,” Rosberg said. “I am still disappointed with today because it is reliability again and that is a weakness we have in the team and we must improve that and get to the bottom of all these things. We need to understand what happened today and move on.”