F1 Singapore Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton disappointed that battle with Nico Rosberg never was as reliability hits Mercedes once again

Rosberg's Singapore quest never began as the former championship leader hit by electrical issues before the race even started

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The Independent Online

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were both in agreement for once this season that the destiny of the Formula One world championship cannot be decided on reliability grounds.

Mercedes were left to reflect on a day of mixed fortunes at the Singapore Grand Prix - with Hamilton securing his 29th F1 win and seventh of the season, while Rosberg retired after 14 laps due to a wiring loom failure in the steering column.

It means Hamilton leads the standings by three points with five races remaining this season.

But the worry for both men is after two technical retirements apiece, and other gremlins, the champion will be decided by reliability rather than actual racing.

 

Hamilton said: "Every time it (a technical fault) is something new.

"On Nico's car it was something small, we've never had it before, so we have to keep working hard as a team and move forwards.

"Absolutely, I want it to be decided on the track. With Nico not there it did take the weight off, but I was still really wanting to have that close battle. Personally, I enjoy the intensity."

Hamilton roars back into title lead

Hamilton and Rosberg may have been at loggerheads at times - but the latter is also eager for Mercedes to keep any problems from now on to the absolute minimum.

Rosberg said: "Reliability is a factor in the title, of course.

"From a team perspective unreliability is our weakness and we need to get to the bottom of it, to keep pushing and try to improve on that. That's the key thing for us, but I'm still very optimistic."

Rosberg's woe started ahead of the formation lap, and despite frantic attempts to resolve it, the 29-year-old was forced to start from the pit lane.

Over the early stages of the race it was clear Rosberg was unable to compete, eventually retiring after another failed bid to correct matters at his pit stop.

Nico_Rosberg.jpg
Rosberg's Mercedes is retrieved from the grid after failing to start the warm-up lap

Rosberg then watched the remainder of the race from the pit wall, with Hamilton taking the flag from Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel as the reigning four-time champion secured his best result of the year.

Daniel Ricciardo was third and now trails Hamilton by 60 points, with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso fourth and Felipe Massa fifth for Williams.

Hamilton said afterwards: "I just feel relaxed. I came here to do a job, and I came through it without any issues on our side of the garage all weekend, which was a real blessing.

"I also came here hoping to gain seven points on Nico (the difference between first and second), with anything more than that a bonus.

"Of course, three extra points are a huge help, and you would think I should be relieved, but that's not the case. At the moment I'm not thinking that."

PA

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