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Nico Rosberg Q&A: I'm in agony after retirement

21 Sep 2014

Nico Rosberg headed into Singapore with a healthy 22-point lead in the world championship, but suffered disaster before the race even started and eventually retired to drop behind Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton in the title fight.

Having vented his agony and frustration in the cockpit, Rosberg insists he will not let the 'agony' of the result undermine his optimism - or derail his pursuit of the world championship crown...

Q: Nico, what a setback for your title hopes. When did the problems start?

Nico Rosberg: Already in the pits. Suddenly all the buttons and the radio stopped their function: I had no hybrid power, I had no DRS - only the gear paddles sort of worked, but what was kind of strange was I could only upshift two at a time, so I had no fourth gear and no sixth gear. Then it all sort of came back for a few laps, only to disband again. It was hopeless. And in the end there was nothing I nor the team could do. For security reasons they called me in.

Q: What explanation do you have for it? The car was fast and working all Saturday and was in parc ferme during the night...

NR: I do not have an explanation. We will have to analyse the situation but my feeling is that such a thing should be avoidable - it's probably a simple electronic module. It was an ugly feeling sitting there and being completely helpless, knowing that your whole race is going out the window. That is really heavy!

Q: Your race out the window, your team mate winning and now leading in the championship - how do you deal with that?

NR: It was the toughest day of the year for me and right now I only can say that I am in agony and desperately trying to come up with a logical explanation for all that.

Q: How long will it take you to overcome this frustration?

NR: I fumed in the cockpit, so I am already on the way to recovery now. I left most of the anger in the helmet!

Q: We all witnessed your fingers moving desperately from one button to the other, but nothing really seemed to ease the situation…

NR: I know that we tried everything - two steering wheels, for example - but that didn't help a bit as it was not the steering wheel itself but obviously something in the steering column that connects the steering wheel and car. As I just said in the end we will probably learn that it was a petty part that caused all that drama - but there was nothing we could have done more in that very moment. When I finally got into gear it was all but funny to start behind the Caterham.

Q: Could the cause be the team radio regulation changes, as they also meant changes to the dashboard?

NR: I indeed made changes to my dashboard but I doubt that this is the reason - but then who knows.

Q: What can you take out of this weekend? Can reliability cost you the title?

NR: That reliability is our weakness. We have to get to the bottom of things. Reliability will be a major factor in the title race, but thinking that it will cost me the title is very pessimistic - and I am optimistic!

Q: What do you demand from the team for Japan?

NR: I don't 'demand' anything different to what I hoped for in the past. The team is focusing a lot on reliability and we are all trying to improve together.