A year that started brightly for Mercedes' Nico Rosberg ended in ruins as a puncture consigned him to a lowly fifteenth place finish in Sao Paulo.
F1 2012 has seen the high point of Rosberg's career so far with his maiden win in China, however recent races have more often been plumbing the lowest depths of disappointment, and a dramatic puncture ended any hopes of a points-finish in a chaotic Brazilian Grand Prix.
Rosberg came into the pits four times in all as the weather at the Interlagos circuit kept everyone guessing, and the young German seemed keen to forget the ordeal once the race was over.
“That was definitely the longest race of my life today!" he said. "The start was pretty good, and I was running in the top eight. After the puncture however, there was damage to the floor and I lost a lot of performance, so unfortunately I had no chance to fight back from there.
“It must have been a fantastic race for the fans here in Interlagos and watching on the TV and I hope they enjoyed the show.”
As 2012 has gone on, Rosberg has slipped down the points table to an eventual ninth place, and whilst congratulating his World Championship winning compatriot, Sebastian Vettel, he indicated he is aiming higher next year when he is joined at Mercedes by Britain's Lewis Hamilton.
“Congratulations to Sebastian on the world title which is very well deserved," he said. "For myself, I am now looking forward to next year and the chance to attack again. Many thanks to the team for all of their efforts this year which saw our first win together, and we can look forward to making further progress and a better 2013.”
by Philip Barclay