Nico Rosberg suffered a major blow to his chances of a first Formula One title when he retired from Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix after only 14 laps and lost his lead in the championship to race winner Lewis Hamilton. The German, who qualified in second place for Mercedes, had already been forced to start from the pit lane after repeated issues with his car’s steering wheel.
“It was a horrible feeling really, to see everybody go. Because then I knew it was over,” Rosberg told Sky Sports television. “Then the whole steering wheel just wasn’t working so I didn’t have any hybrid power and the shifting — I would shift two gears at once all the time and I had no DRS.
“The car just wasn’t working at all. And then there was no point to continue. It was a tough day really.”
The retirement allowed his team mate Hamilton to take the championship lead by three points after the Briton took victory at the floodlit Marina Bay street circuit.
Until Sunday Rosberg had suffered less mechanical misfortune than Hamilton, who has now won seven races to his team mate’s four but suffered three retirements.
Hamilton led comfortably Sunday before he was forced into a late pitstop, giving up the race lead to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel. However, Hamilton quickly passed the German to win by 13.5 seconds at the Marina Bay circuit. Vettel finished second, just holding off Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was fourth.