Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Korea International Circuit, 2013

“Podium was guaranteed – for one second” – Rosberg

2013 Korean Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Korea International Circuit, 2013Nico Rosberg said he was on course for a podium at the moment his front wing spectacularly failed during the Korean Grand Prix.

“The car was very quick, I was really comfortable, podium was guaranteed at one point,” he said after the race. “Only for one second.”

“For one second the podium was guaranteed and I was going to go for Grosjean because I had really good pace in the car and just a great pity.”

Rosberg said he “really could not believe it” when his front wing collapsed, which occurred while he was passing team mate Lewis Hamilton.

“I was feeling good, had really good pace in the car, I was going for it. And then the damn thing, front wing drops and sparks coming off and it felt like I was sitting on the ground.

“So I had no idea what was going on – the team did a really good job with my engineer to quickly tell me what the situation was. All I could do was just try and cruise home.

“I had to understand also how bad was it because if the wing is really underneath the car then it’s massively dangerous. I could just completely lose control of the car and crash straight on without braking into the wall. First I had to judge how was the situation and then I understood it wasn’t too bad so I could carry some speed back to the garage.”

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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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26 comments on ““Podium was guaranteed – for one second” – Rosberg”

  1. I have to admit the lotuses were just more on the pace today compared to Red Bull . It was not very tight as Nico suggests.But still , tough luck Nico !

    1. *sorry I meant compared to the mercedes

  2. I’m just glad for him that the wing stayed on the car and didn’t go under it because he kepped his foot down on the straight.

  3. Rosberg has been the unluckier Mercedes driver by a margin this year. He should be right up there with Lewis in the WDC, the 49 pt difference between the two misleads performance.

    1. That is def not true. Lewis has had his fair share of misfortune, just at the top of my head the tyre failure at silverstone when he was leading which in turn gifted Rosberg a win. Rosberg’s DNFs have come when he was in low scoring positions and running behind Lewis. The points difference is more or less an accurate assesment of both IMO.

      1. Completly agree, the points gap is about right when you take into account the actual net loss/gain of each problem, rather than just looking at it like X driver had X amounts of problems.

        Its the same when it comes to Button/Hamilton, those who wish to argue that both had similiar amounts of problems during their time together fail to take into account the actual net loss/gain, like Button retiring from 10th in Monaco, while Hamilton retires from the lead in Singapore. And dosnt take into account the problems Lewis had when it wasnt a DNF on paper, but race ruining all the same, like in Japan when his rear suspension failed but he could still drive around the problem, albiet alot slower pace, which Button gain position out of, but dosnt show on paper as Hamliton having a mech. failure.

    2. @kingshark
      Maybe Rosberg has a bit more bad luck then Hamiltom but prior to this incident all his mechanical failures occured when he was behind Hamilton. Plus, he inherited what should have been Hamilton’s win at Silverstone so I’d say the gap is just fine.

      1. So true. What podium Nico? Why Mercedes left Lewis out with his car degrading super fast, the twitter guy said Nico needed to pit first. not a Team player, I’m not saying he should yield off but that’s a lot of excuses, he was holding up his team-mate . Where’s the genius of Ross Brawn? Pit wall is making so many mistakes; mind boggling that they didn’t ask Nico to give Lewis the place so they could stop and pit them both in the same lap. The latter would’ve been out in 3s which could have barely cost the former any time. This race looked like the awful strategy McLaren used to give to Lewis. Next year to beat RedBull they’ll have to be smarter.

        1. exactly !!!!! Even I thought of it that way .

    3. @kingshark as others have pointed out to you, you’re not correct. The only disparity I’d agree with is Malaysia.

  4. Waiting for some spectacular pictures on this one. :)

  5. It’s almost like it’s physically impossible for him to overtake Hamilton. A funny coincidence that this happened right when he was going to pass him. Team orders maybe? ;)

    1. There was a joke, back when Hill and Prost were teammates for Williams (sponsored at the time by Sega) that Prost had a “Game Over” button on his steering wheel for whenever Damon looked like beating him. What’s the BlackBerry equivalent?

      1. What’s the BlackBerry equivalent?

        Delete maybe…

        Thanks for sharing

    2. Didn’t Mercedes let Lewis out too long with degraded tyres costing him much time in order to service Nico? Lewis was like +10s ahead UNTIL Nico caught him and was about to overtake him! Then when Nico did overtake, he lost his front wing meanwhile Lewis was asking all the time why Mercedes didn’t want him to pit! Lewis is the faster driver but if anything the Korean GP shows Mercedes are not treating him like the Number one driver. If they are behind Ferrari in the Constructors it’s also for the repetitive mistakes and since Belgium they don’t seem to get the set-up right!

      1. Didn’t Mercedes let Lewis out too long with degraded tyres

        No, I see a lot of people repeating this but Hamilton’s race would have been ruined if he had pitted when he wanted to and the safety car had not come when it did. Mercedes made the correct call in keeping him out.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          6th October 2013, 17:29


          Are you saying Mercedes would have ruined Lewis’s race if they brought him in to the pits? Of course, it was better to leave him out until his tires give out and he’s 15 seconds slower, right?

          I think Raikonnen pitted right before Lewis and he went to somehow get P2. Are you implying that had Mercedes pitted Lewis he would had P1?

          Doesn’t sound like ruining his race….

          1. Raikkonen wasn’t wearing out his tyres like Lewis was. Lewis would have run out of tyres by the end of the race. The Lotus has been the best on it’s tyres al season long and today was no exception. If Hamilton would have had to pit again, he would have lost even more time.

          2. It is true that Lewis couldn’t have pitted many laps sooner than he did because they would have forced him onto a slower 3 stopper, but it does not make sense that Rosberg didnt let him go when his wing failed, Lewis was due to pit on that lap anyway, and they could have serviced him long before Nico even reached the pits and got both cars done on the same lap. With the amount of brain power these teams have its shocking how they can get something so basic, wrong.

            Not that it makes too much difference anyway, Lewis had already fallen behind Raikkonen because of those 3-4 really slow laps before Nico’s wing failed, and Hamilton only fell behind Hulkenberg because of the safty cars that bunched the pack up and allowed Hulkenberg to use his cars superior traction and straightline speed to pass him. But its about the principle that Merc got that basic strategy of not pitting them both on the same lap thats shocking. Its little details like that, that the likes of Redbull and Ferrari usually get right, that allows them to maximise Vettels/Alonsos races when its not going right.

  6. To be honest Nico, hamilton was faster than you. You started gaining after Ham ‘s tyres went off the cliff.

    1. @Jan

      Yes hamilton was faster but obviously using his tyres more hence that cliff. At the time of his front wing failure rosberg was the fastest driver on the track having done 3 laps in the mid 44’s and had clearly spent the early part of the stint nursing the tyres.

      1. Well spotted @pantherjag Nico was flying.

        Tire management is unfortunately a big part of the job these days for F1 drivers, so one must ponder the definition of speed these days. Speed done for too many consecutive laps can result in oneself cliffed, while speed taken as an avereage overall, and timed to suit the tire requirements, rules the day.

        All I know is it doesn’t thrill me to see someone driving to delta times, nor flying for a relatively brief stint of tire window, and then falling victim to the cliff and looking helpless. I can’t bring myself to revel over such passes, such influence that the tires have, even when it looks like some good action going on. I find myself watching with an asterisk bubble over my head. Can’t wait for next year’s more stable tires.

  7. front wing warranty expired, no guarantee

  8. It was 4 am, so I was kinda sleepy but enjoying the race alright. When they showed Nico overtaking Hamilton and the wing collapsed, it looked for a second that I was watching an edited replay. He looked like he got a mushroom Mario Kart style, and he had turbo or something.

    It was spectacular !

    1. I think you were dreaming, also much video games too! in my country it was 11:00pm…

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