Nico Rosberg made no secret of his disappointment after being forced to retire from Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix and seeing his Formula 1 championship aspirations be all but ended.
Rosberg made a good start from pole to hang on to the lead of the race ahead of Hamilton until a problem with his throttle caused him to drop off the pace and fall down the order.
Mercedes told Rosberg to pit so that the team could try and fix the issue, but it proved to be futile as the German was ultimately forced to park up his car and retire from the race.
Hamilton went on to win in Russia, giving him a 73-point advantage with just 100 still in play to all but end Rosberg’s faint title hopes.
“Racing can be very tough,” Rosberg said. “You put so much effort into a weekend but in the end I leave Russia with no points. A very disappointing weekend for me.
“It all went well until the safety car came out. My throttle pedal came into my direction. At one point I wasn’t able to steer anymore as I had to lift my foot too much and touched the steering wheel with my knee.”
Rosberg’s recent luck has seen him lose more and more ground on Hamilton, with retirement in Italy and opportunities being missed in Hungary and Singapore dashing his title hopes.
“In the recent months I had some unlucky moments, which made it hard in the battle against Lewis,” Rosberg said. “But I will come back and keep pushing.
“We can be very happy that we secured the constructors’ title a second time in a row. So it’s a good day for everyone in the factories and we have to thank all that made this happen.”
Rosberg is set to be eliminated from the championship chase at the next race in the United States unless he can beat Hamilton, and will now realistically be aiming to beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to second place in the drivers’ championship.