Brake issue almost forced Rosberg to retire in Australia

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Mercedes Formula 1 chief Toto Wolff has revealed that Australian Grand Prix winner Nico Rosberg was almost forced to retire from the race due to a brake issue on his car.

Rosberg swept to his fourth consecutive race win on Sunday after an inspired strategy call allowed him to lead home teammate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

However, it could have been very different had Mercedes opted to retire Rosberg from the race after his brake caliper overheated.

“Our plan from there had been to put Nico on a two-stop and Lewis a one-stop strategy before the red flag came out,” Wolff explained.

“We did the maths and opted to go with one set of mediums to the end, with the drivers on the knife edge of endurance and performance.

“Managing tires and temperatures became a big challenge, with debris causing an overheating brake caliper that almost forced us to retire Nico at one stage.

“Thankfully that was not the case and he led Lewis home for a hard-fought one-two.”

Wolff paid tribute to the Mercedes team after it scored a fifth straight one-two finish on Sunday, picking up maximum points from the season-opener.

“A perfect result to start the year, a great job from the drivers to manage and recover the race, fantastic work on the pit wall to give them the right strategy to do so and an incredible team effort from everybody at the factories to get us here.

“We must now sort our starts and look to carry out momentum into Bahrain.”