Rosberg "realistic" on F1 title chances after Sochi DNF

Nico Rosberg says he has to be 'realistic' and accept his Formula 1 championship hopes are all but over now, despite vowing to keep up the fight to win as many races before the end of the season.

A throttle problem at the Russian Grand Prix forced the German out of a race he could well have won, and allowed title rival Lewis Hamilton to extend his advantage over him to 73 points.

Although there is little to gain by throwing in the towel just yet, Rosberg says that the situation is one where he has to face up to the fact that only a freak set of circumstances could bring him back into contention.

"You have to be realistic now," he said. "It is a lot of points but it doesn't change my approach. I am still pushing to the maximum, and committed, and going for it mentally. So it doesn't change much.

"It is disappointing in the respect that I was looking to close the gap. But then anyway, going to the next race and I want to win there. That is the goal."

Tough to accept

What Rosberg finds most frustrating to deal with is the fact that valuable points have slipped through his fingers in recent races through no fault of his own.

As well as the throttle failure at Sochi, an engine blow-up in the closing stages of the Italian Grand Prix robbed him of a podium finish.

"It is just disappointing to see how this year has gone," he said. "There was a lot of bad luck now in the last couple of months.

"Just when I needed to launch an attack and it go the other way, it is one thing after another. And many small things and some major things, race stoppers, derailed it in the last months, It is tough."

Throttle drama

Rosberg said there was nothing he could to recover the throttle problem in Russia that eventually put him out.

"The change happened during the safety car already, so right after the start. And from then on I couldn't come off throttle, so I was doing all the corners with throttle on.

"Then eventually it was so throttle on I couldn't get around the corners any way. I was trying to take my leg off the pedal but then the knee would come up and I couldn't steer any more. It was different problems coming in there."

Rosberg even admitted that there had been some safety concerns about the potential for the throttle to jam open.

"It is never a nice thing, especially when it was sticking," he explained. "So that was why I asked the team what should I do if the throttle sticks and I am full on the brakes.

"They said there was an automatic fail safe on the car, which removes the throttle in that case when it sees a big overlap – so that was reassuring."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Russian GP
Track Sochi Autodrom
Drivers Nico Rosberg
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news