Nico Rosberg’s Singapore GP was ruined by an electrical loom problem in the steering column that in effect meant that the controls on the wheel were not communicating with the rest of the car.
After starting from the pit lane and running some slow laps at the back of the field he retired at his first pit stop.
“The toughest day for me this year, definitely the case, even worse than Silverstone, for example,” he said. “It was probably a connection in the steering column, between the steering wheel and car, but not at the steering wheel, so even changing the steering wheel didn’t make a difference. None of the steering wheel functions worked, I had no hybrid power, no DRS. The gear paddles sort of worked, which was strange, but they would always upshift two gears at a time, so I had no fourth gear, I had no sixth gear, it was just all over the place. And that’s why I was also very, very slow.
“And my brake balance was completely in the wrong place, because I couldn’t brake properly, and I couldn’t change that. Even coming into the pit stop I didn’t have the pit limiter, I couldn’t go into neutral, I couldn’t do anything. So they were going to jack me up, I have to go full speed, and then they drop the car and I go sort of thing. Then they decided it was too dangerous, I don’t know what, and we called it a day.”
The frustrating thing for Nico was that when the car was warmed up with a mechanic in the cockpit, there was no sign of a problem.
“[It started] as I got in the car in the garage. They’d sat in the car five times just before I got in, doing all sorts of checks, everything was OK, then I got in the car, and it didn’t work any more. Which is crazy.”
Rosberg was off in the pace in the few laps he did, but said he hadn’t given up: “Even then I still had hope, because if all of a sudden things had come alive, then even then I still I had a race, with safety cars and everything. Until they switched my car off and pushed it in the garage I still believed in doing a good race.”
Rosberg admitted he was disappointed with reliability: “From a team perspective reliability is our weakness, and we need to get to the bottom of today, and just keep on pushing and try and improve on that. That’s the key thing for us.
“It’s clear that that is the point that we need to focus most on, because the performance is there, again in the race today, very strong, it’s just reliability that needs to be improved.”