Nico Rosberg’s chance to take the lead of the Formula 1 drivers’ championship for the first time in 2015 slipped through his fingers after a late puncture left him eighth at the end of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Starting from second place, Rosberg managed to pass Mercedes teammate and title rival Lewis Hamilton into the first corner.
However, he was swarmed by both Ferrari drivers at the first corner, meaning that he ran third at the end of the first lap.
A safety car period allowed Rosberg to pass Kimi Raikkonen and close on race leader Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages of the race, running within one second of the German driver with five laps to go.
However, a lunge by Daniel Ricciardo at the first corner saw Rosberg suffer a puncture that left him crawling back to the pits. In the end, he finished the race in eighth place, two positions behind Hamilton who had been outside of the points with ten laps to go.
“Racing is very tough sometimes,” Rosberg said. “It’s an awful feeling to lose it at the end.
“For me, the incident with Daniel was pretty clear. I was on the ideal line, he braked too late and went wide. I then stayed on the racing line, so it was my corner, but he still had his front wing there and hit me and I got a puncture.
“That destroyed my race, which is a real shame as I could have gained a lot of points on Lewis.
“At the moment I’m not looking forward to the summer break. I just want to be back in the car and racing again tomorrow.”
Rosberg now trails Hamilton by 21 points at the top of the drivers’ championship heading into the sport’s annual summer break.