Date: 7th July 2014 at 8:57am
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Nico Rosberg could only wish what might have been when gearbox problems forced him to retire whilst in the lead of the British Grand Prix.

Whilst Lewis Hamilton was clearly the fastest driver around the Silverstone track, the Brit was also the fastest driver in Austria a couple of weeks ago, but despite his pace advantage it was Nico Rosberg who held on to take the victory following a poor qualifying for Hamilton.

It had appeared that history could be repeating this weekend and Rosberg was looking at extending his lead in the Formula One World Championship to 36 points.

Even if Rosberg had been unable to prevent Hamilton catching and passing him, a second place finish would have left Rosberg with a 22 point lead going into Germany.

But a retirement left the gap at just 4 points.

?It’s a pity what happened today as I lost a lot of points in the Championship. We are always aiming for 100 percent reliability but unfortunately that didn’t work out for me today. I had a small issue in the installation lap but the car felt great in the beginning. By lap 20, though, the gearbox started to become a serious problem and from then it got worse. I tried to get it into some safety settings, let Lewis through and just keep going until the end of the race. But there was nothing we could do so I had to stop the car. Rosberg told formula1.com.

Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff said: ‘Lewis drove a faultless race today. He made up positions at the start and in the opening laps after the restart, then it was shaping up to be a big battle until Nico started to suffer the gearbox problems. But what I want to praise most of all is Lewis’ approach today. He had a bad qualifying session but he arrived at the circuit this morning in such a positive frame of mind and determined to perform – and he did that for his home fans. It was a great performance that showed his mental strength. Nico was doing a great job leading the race today and handled his retirement like the professional he is.