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Rosberg sidelined by electrical problem
17 March 2013
Nico Rosberg had looked set to be one of the stars of the first race of the 2013 F1 season after featuring strongly in the rain-hit qualifying sessions at Albert Park in Melbourne on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.
But his high hopes came to nothing when his Mercedes died on him on lap 26 of the 58-lap Australian Grand Prix in the afternoon, leaving him watching the remainder of the race from the sidelines.
"An electric problem finished my race," he explained, "There were some cuts and then an electrical problem. The car felt okay - everyone was sounding very positive in my ears - but apparently it wasn't so great."
"We saw a drop in voltage from the battery and that stopped the car," said the Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn after the race.
It was especially frustrating for the young German, as the tea's race strategy had looked to be lining him up for a strong points finish. "I was on a two-stop strategy and in a good position to score a decent result," he said.
Instead, the driver and his team had to look elsewhere for the silver lining to the day's events.
"There are lots of positives that we can take from the weekend," insisted Rosberg. "The team have developed a solid car over the winter, I had a good qualifying pace and the car also ran well in the wet. It looks like we have started to close the gap to the front runners and we can build on that."
His boss was in agreement that despite Rosberg's electrical failure, the Australian Grand Prix had been a good, solid start for the team especially with Lewis Hamilton bringing home the team's other car in a strong fifth place.
"Overall, we have made a good step with the car and learned a lot this afternoon," said Brawn. "If we can put the pieces of the puzzle together, we have the ingredients to race well."
One of the missing pieces is tyre management with Brawn admitting that the car's balance on medium tyres had not been optimised, forcing the team to switch their drivers from two- to three-stop strategies.
"The behaviour of the tyres is something we will have to think about and understand over the next days," agreed Brawn, his thoughts already turning to the next race in just seven days time when the cars will take to the Sepang International Circuit for the Malaysian Grand Prix next weekend.
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