Tech Corner: Nico’s Throttle Problem


Matt Somerfield takes a closer look at the throttle pedal issue that ended Nico Rosberg’s race at Sochi.

A small mechanical failure on Nico Rosberg’s car in Sochi has all but mathematically destroyed the German’s chances of taking the 2015 Drivers’ Championship from his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton’s grasps.

So, what went wrong? Unfortunately for Nico it was the throttle pedal damper that failed, a component that regulates travel and resistance. My illustration is a generic pedal setup (ie not F1 specific) and shows the damper marked in green.

In Nico’s case its failure meant that the pedal travelled beyond the desired stopping point and was not only compromising his throttle inputs but hindered his ability to steer the car. He duly retired the W06 but not before his engineers tried to rectify the situation in the pit box.

A full investigation will be undertaken when the component gets back to the factory but the failure could have been anything from structural fatigue to something as little as a rubber o-ring failing.

Matt Somerfield