Rosberg reflects on a tough day in Singapore (VIDEO)

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Nico Rosberg has reflected on a tough day at the Singapore Grand Prix after retiring from the race and relinquishing his lead of the Formula 1 drivers’ championship for the first time in four months.

The German driver was due to start the race from second place, but an electrical issue on his car meant that he couldn’t get away from his grid slot for the formation lap. The team wheeled him back into the pit lane, allowing him to join the race at the back of the pack.

However, the problem only got worse, meaning that when Rosberg pitted, his car was unable to restart once he had stopped. The team decided to throw in the towel and park his car up.

“The problems with my steering wheel began in the garage even before the race and it was a difficult moment when I couldn’t pull away from the grid,” Rosberg explained. “The car didn’t get out of neutral. When I left the pit lane, I was only able to change gear – there was no radio, no DRS and reduced Hybrid power.

“We were hoping that the systems might come back to life, like the radio did, and that we could change the situation.

“But after we changed the wheel another time, we had to retire the car.”

Rosberg called on the team to find what the issue was and ensure that he does not suffer any more reliability problems in 2014 following his second retirement of the season.

“It was a tough day for me and unfortunately another reliability problem for the team,” the German driver said. “It was at least something good for the team that Lewis was able to take the win. Now we need to analyze what happened and to optimize everything further because reliability is our issue this year.”

Robert Wickens in the Indy 500? Bryan Herta making plans to field a car for next year

Robert Wickens Indy 500
Brett Farmer/LAT Images/IMSA
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Bryan Herta wants to enter Robert Wickens in the Indy 500 as early as 2024 – a year longer than preferred as work continues on the hand controls needed for the paralyzed driver.

Wickens suffered a spinal cord injury in a crash at Pocono Raceway in his 2018 IndyCar rookie season. He’s worked as a driver coach for the Arrow McLaren IndyCar team since, but last year with Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai returned to racing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.

The 33-year-old Canadian won a pair of races (including the season opener at Daytona) driving a Hyundai Elantra N-TCR that is fitted for Wickens to race strictly through hand controls. Herta said Thursday that perfecting that technology for an Indy car in the biggest race in the world has slowed the project he’s determined to do with Wickens.

‘I’M AS HUNGRY AS EVER’: Robert Wickens’ return to racing

“I’d love to take Robbie back to Indy because I know he could do that, and I think that would be a next step for him in his journey,” Herta told The Associated Press. “We’ve spent a lot of time looking at the logistical side of things, hand controls, and I think we have solutions for that.”

Herta said Honda has been supportive of the process, which Herta called “one of the most important things we’ve done in racing” last year.

“We actually looked at doing it this year, but the logistics of it, the timing, it just wasn’t enough,” Herta said. “That’s not something you can rush. There’s some things that we have to work very closely with IndyCar on, and things we just have to get right. It’s a process, but I can see a path to it.”

Wickens, when told his boss was openly discussing the Indy 500, grinned widely. Herta as a team owner won the Indianapolis 500 with Dan Wheldon and Alexander Rossi.

“That’d be fun,” he said of running the Indy 500.

But like Herta, Wickens said the effort has to be both done correctly and be competitive.

“We’d like to do it right. If we started right now, can we get a car ready for the open test in April? Probably,” Wickens told The AP. “But I don’t know where the systems would be and I want to get on proper simulators to make sure its correct.

“We all want to do a proper, professional effort,” he added. “I don’t want to do it for a marketing campaign. I want to do it for a chance to win.”

Wickens in 2021 did a demonstration in Canada that marketed advancements for paralyzed drivers and gave him a chance to again drive. His entire life had been upended 14 races into his rookie IndyCar season, just three months after winning top rookie honors at the Indianapolis 500.

Wickens has since married, returned to racing last year and welcomed the birth of his first child, an son named Wesley whom is infatuated with both race cars and the trip to Disney he took this week during the off days at Daytona International Speedway.

Wickens, who uses a wheelchair but can stand with some support, marks a full year back racing on Friday in the season-opening IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race. Despite success last season, Herta made changes to his lineups and Wickens this year will be teamed with Harry Gottsacker.