Rosberg’s technical problems “not acceptable”

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Shanghai, 2013Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff says the technical problems suffered by Nico Rosberg in the first two races of the year are “not acceptable”.

Rosberg retired from Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix after an anti-roll bar failure and was forced out of the Australian Grand Prix with an electrical problem.

“Two technical retirements for Nico in three races are not acceptable,” said Wolff. “Everybody is working flat out at the factory to make sure we hit our target of bringing both cars to the finish at every race.”

“After three races, we have an equal balance of reasons to be pleased and areas we need to improve,” he added. “Two podium finishes in two races for Lewis represent a strong start to the season. That shows our car is competitive in different conditions and on different types of circuit.”

Rosberg said he drew positives from the car’s competitive showing in the opening rounds, with Lewis Hamilton finished on the podium in the last two races:

“The first three races haven’t quite worked out as we had hoped on my side but the positive is that we have a car that we can really work with,” he said.

“We’re better prepared than we were last year and we have shown that the car is much stronger so I really hope that we can achieve a great result in Bahrain.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Rosberg’s technical problems “not acceptable””

  1. I would have to agree; Mercedes really needs to capitalise on these first few races.

  2. thatscienceguy
    16th April 2013, 10:25

    This is obviously a Mercedes conspiracy to keep Rosberg down.

    1. For sure.

    2. Ken (@myxomatosis)
      16th April 2013, 17:18

      For sure it’s a massive conspiracy.

  3. Maybe Rosberg inherited car problems from Schumacher? :-)

    1. :)) he inherited the (let’s say) prime car of the team (with the lower number and red air intake camera), so yes… :)

    2. To be honest, I’m surprised no-one is seriously making up conspiracies about Schumacher sabotaging Rosberg from behind the scenes!

  4. I think these problems have put to bed any chance Rosberg had of beating Hamilton this year. He seemed to have better pace in the first 2 races while Lewis was still getting comfortable in the car and team, but in China, from Saturday onwards, Hamilton had a clear pace advantage. Rosberg had to capitalise on any early advantage if he had a chance of winning the team-mate battle, but I suspect now it is too late.

    1. one week this was.. A bit early to say don’t you think? A good competition will lead to this.. Up and down between the two. Otherwise you need to start worrying. Might well be the failiure also was underlying the whole weekend and therefore showed lack of pace. So mr doomsayer, plz be quiet

      1. Be quiet? Why should he be quiet? I am interested in hearing everyone’s opinions, whether they are in line with mine or not.

    2. I think he still has a bit of a chance, but realistically it does seem to have him firmly in the no. 2 position in the team.

      I agree that he seemed to be the faster one in the first 2 races.

    3. who knows if Rosbergs slower race pace in China wasnt down to the roll bar….

    4. Nico’s problems could just as easily had been Lewis’s problems. The point differential between the two is a reflection of car problems not track performance.
      It’s a long season so I would be remiss to judge team driver competition at any major team this early in a nineteen or twenty race season.

  5. Toto Wolff seems like he is trying to come in and become the big bad boss, when, he really isn’t needed.

    I do feel for the people who have to work under him.

    1. thatscienceguy
      16th April 2013, 11:26

      I don’t see him trying to be the big bad boss at all. Ask any team CEO what they would think if their car had two DNF’s in three races, and they’d all say a variation of “It’s not good enough, and we’re working hard to fix the problems.” It’s not a slight on the people working under him, it’s an exact summary of the standards the team expect, and the standard that all teams in F1 expect.

    2. Right or wrong, he does sound like the kind of boss how would throw a pile of work on your desk at 5pm on a Friday and tell you he needs it done by Sunday, while he heads out for drinks at a fancy bar, doesn’t he? The manager who always gives instructions to everyone but never actually does anything? You know, the guy everyone in the office hates.

    3. He has expectations and people who work for him need to understand what they are as they apply to them. This simple approach to leadership is very effective because it is not intrusive, threatening or negative.

  6. MB (@muralibhats)
    16th April 2013, 11:04

    Rosberg’s technical problem.. Title needs change?

  7. Well Alonso said that driver’s average about 3 DNFs per season, so lets just hope that Rosberg is getting his bad luck out of the way early on in the season. He’s a solid driver, I really hope he does well.

  8. I have a theory that the odd numbered Mercedes car is unlucky.

    In the three seasons where Rosberg had Schumacher as team-mate, he only had 1 retirement (out of 7) due to a technical/procedural fault (his wheel falling off in the pitlane in Hungary, 2010). All his other retirements were due to collisions. Schumacher, on the other hand, had 8 retirements (out of 14) caused by technical/procedural faults over their three years together.

    Lewis needs to insist on having the even-numbered car next season if he wants a title ;-)

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      16th April 2013, 16:12

      +1 Isn’t that hilarious? Maybe the odd-numbered car is built to higher set of specs, like Webber’s. They must use organic components to keep the VOC levels low:-)

  9. I find the Lauda /Wolff fiasco hugely insulting. They glide into the team just as Ross has completed the factory upgrade, hired the New technical team and got it up and running and got the W04 to the winter Test and they posture themselves as the team’s behaviours. Crass beyond belief!

    1. Behaviours should read saviours. Sorry!

    2. Actually Coulthard congratulated Wolff on the grid on his contribution, and he quickly turned it around and pinned the credit on Brawn and the changes that happened before he arrived.

      While I don’t know much of him, he doesn’t present himself either here or when at Williams as the self aggrandizing type.

      Lauda is a well known and different character, however.

      1. Lauda is to Mercedes what DiMontezemelo is to Ferrari and Helmut Marko is to Red Bull…

        They are the loony in the corner who doesn’t bring anything to the team but for some reason demands authority due to their position. Each team holds their breath when the media put a microphone in front of them for fear of them saying something really dim.

        1. Di Montezemelo has far more power at Ferrari than Helmut Marko has at Red Bull, no comparison.

  10. Wolff is dead right, they need to sort out these problems early. It’s ruining my fantasy f1 team.

  11. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    16th April 2013, 16:17

    Still even with 33% DNFs (2 out of 6), Mercedes is still 4th in the WCC which is incredible! They have managed to take 1 pole position and 2 podiums. At the end of last season, things looked horrible for Mercedes. What a turnaround for the team!

    1. Indeed, the Hamilton effect… :)

  12. “Two technical retirements for Nico in three races are not acceptable,” said Wolff. “Everybody is working flat out at the factory to make sure we hit our target of bringing both cars to the finish at every race.”

    This is the kind of attitude we should be seeing from the RBR team, in regards to Webber’s car.

    And talking about Wolff, as I originally suspected, he is now planing to sell his Williams stake indeed.

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