'Helpless' Nico Rosberg bemoans electrical woes after 'toughest day of the year'
German vows to come back fighting in Japan after losing title lead
By James Galloway and William Esler
Last Updated: 23/09/14 8:19am
Nico Rosberg has described the Singapore GP as the “toughest day of the year” after his hopes of maintaining his title lead unravelled in disastrous fashion on Sunday – although admitted he can’t afford to dwell on the disappointment.
For just the second time this season Rosberg will head to Suzuka without the lead of the Drivers’ Championship after the Marina Bay race produced a 25-point swing in the title race between the German driver and team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who now leads the standings by three points.
A faulty wiring loom in his W05’s steering column was the root cause of Rosberg’s travails, and having already dropped to the back of the field after starting from the end of the pitlane, his car would change up two gears every time he upshifted causing the revs to die.
Reflecting on the frustration in his regular post-race video blog on Monday, the long-time championship leader, whose understandable disappointment was still etched across his face, said: “Toughest day of the year for me that one. I felt so helpless; nothing was working at the beginning of the race.
“I didn’t have fourth gear, sixth gear, the upshift paddle was double shifting every time, no DRS, no hybrid power – nothing. The whole steering wheel wasn’t working. Very disappointed [with how Singapore went], I need to try and get over it now and then move forward.”
With fears growing that Mercedes’ recurring reliability setbacks could end up inadvertently settling the title in either Hamilton or Rosberg’s favour – the championship-leading team have now suffered five race-ending DNFs across their two cars – team boss Toto Wolff has promised that they will do everything to bring the “unacceptable” record under control.
Rosberg, whose first DNF of the season came while leading at Silverstone, unsurprisingly concurs.
“Just reliability for the team, that’s still what we need to work on,” he added. “That’s still a weakness, and they are flat out, they just need to try and improve somehow.”
Speaking to Sky F1 after dropping out of the race on Sunday, Rosberg said: “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.
“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 and then full attack at Suzuka.”
How the championship battle stands with five races to go:
1. Lewis Hamilton - 241 points.
2. Nico Rosberg - 238 points.
3. Daniel Ricciardo - 181 points.