Date: 30th September 2014 at 9:23am
Written by:

Mercedes have identified the route cause to Nico Rosberg’s reliability issues in Singapore.

Rosberg lost the lead in the Formula One World Championship battle at the Singapore Grand Prix.

The German held a 22-point lead over Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, but a retirement for Rosberg and a race victory for Hamilton left the Brit 3 points clear come the end of the race.

In the wake of the Singapore Grand Prix the question has been asked; Will ‘DNF’s’ and Mercedes reliability issues ultimately decide who claims the 2014 Formula One World Championship?

Despite the Silver Arrows having a all conquering and dominating car on the track, Mercedes have shown a weak underbelly.

Reliability problems have dogged Lewis Hamilton throughout the season.

An engine fault in Australia and a brake and power problem in Canada have caused two DNF’s for Hamilton.

A brake failure and an engine fire during qualifying in Germany and Hungary have also severely affected Hamilton’s charge at the title, with the Brit only able to recover to third place finishes on both occasions.

Rosberg has also had issues, but not as many. He too had suffered the brake and power issue in Canada, but he was able to recover and hold on to a second place.

In fact Rosberg didn’t finish outside of the top two spots on the podium during the opening eight Grand Prix of the season, until a gearbox problem forced his first retirement of the season at Silverstone.

In Singapore however more reliability issues hit Rosberg.

Rosberg suffered an electrical fault, which seemed to be related to the steering wheel.

He was unable to get away from the grid for the parade lap and eventually started from the pit-lane.

His car was skipping gears and was lacking hybrid-power, so even though he started the race he was struggling to even fight with the backmarker teams of Caterham and Marussia.

Once the first pit-stop came around, he was once again unable to pull away and was forced to retire.

Mercedes have been desperate to identify the issue so that they can continue to improve their reliability problems and allow the Formula One World Championship to be decided on the track.

They have now identified the problem and for Mercedes they will probably be relieved that it is such a freak incident, not that it will be of any consolation to Rosberg.

Mercedes team analysis said that the steering column, which Mercedes have used the same design since 2008 had been contaminated by a residue of a material used in pre-event servicing.

This substance, which was not visible had been used in the factory before the cars were shipped to Singapore. It caused a short-circuit before and during the race which affected both clutch and changing engine settings.

‘Fresh parts will be used at the forthcoming races.

‘The team has been working intensively on reliability and quality processes during 2013 and 2014 in order to improve our performance in this area and these efforts will continue at the same intensive level over the coming months.’
a Mercedes statement quoted by the BBC read.