Mercedes ‘thought about’ retiring Rosberg


Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has revealed that Nico Rosberg was nearly forced to retire during the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Rosberg claimed victory in the season-opening race on Sunday, but an overheating right-front brake caliper and a problem with the left-rear tyre almost saw his race ruined.

"It was unconventional in that we suffered some little dramas," Wolff told reporters. "We had a problem on Nico's car with brake caliper temperatures which kept creeping up almost to a stage where we thought about retiring the car.

"That was two thirds into the race. We caught some debris in the caliper, but then it stabilised and started to creep down again very slowly and recover. At a certain stage it was very difficult for the team to handle.

"And then 15 laps from the end our calculations showed the tyres wouldn't last, that five laps from the end the left-rear could fall off the cliff. The temperatures kept dropping and dropping every single lap, and our tyre guy said 'Five laps from the end, that's it!'

"We lost a lot of grip on the rear left, but it's just one of four tyres and he made it survive to the end."

Wolff added that the limitations on radio transmissions made the situation worse as the team was not able to tell Rosberg about the problems he was experiencing.  

"It was really difficult because we couldn't tell him to look after the left rear," he said. "And he didn't know about the brake temperatures. We couldn't tell him.

"After all these years of transmitting all this information to the drivers to optimise the car, make it survive, that lack of communication is definitely going to lead to situations which are beyond the engineers' control."