Rosberg loses more ground on Hamilton after Monza engine failure


Nico Rosberg saw the gap to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton at the top of the drivers’ championship grow to 53 points after he retired from the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Rosberg started the race on the back foot after being forced into downgrading his power unit on Saturday due to a problem, leaving him fourth on the grid.

A poor getaway left the German in sixth at the end of lap one, but he managed to fight back to run third in the closing stages of the race, closing in on Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in second.

However, with three laps to go, Rosberg’s seven-race-old engine failed, spewing smoke as the car was parked at the side of the track at the Roggia chicane.

“It was just too many kilometers I guess in the end on that engine,” Rosberg told NBCSN after the race.

“[It’s] so disappointing though that it blows up like two or three laps from the end, just when I was having a good chance to attack Vetel also. I could have given it a good go against him. The whole weekend has gone pear-shaped.”

The issue with Rosberg’s upgraded power unit was eventually defined as a leak on the cooling system, but he had no regrets over Mercedes’ decision to try and introduce it early.

“Now it turns out that actually it had nothing to do with the engine,” Rosberg said of his Saturday failure. “It was a chassis component which we’ve had on the car a long long time.

“We really don’t understand how that went wrong and why that broke, so that needs further investigation. In hindsight, no it was perfectly okay to put the engine in.”

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.