Nico Rosberg says a gust of wind caused a loss of rear downforce which he blames for his off-track incident in the United States Grand Prix, which handed Lewis Hamilton the race win and ultimately the chance to seal the F1 drivers' title.
The Mercedes driver had been leading the race in Austin during the closing stages until he slipped off the circuit at turn 16 which allowed Hamilton to skate past and take the chequered flag and with it clinch his third F1 championship while ending Rosberg's challenge for 2015.
During the post-race debriefs the German driver said the off was 'unbelievable' and was determined to uncover the cause of the incident, which he has explained ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix was a strong blow of wind from the last gusts of Hurricane Patricia which destabilised the rear end of his Mercedes and caused it to spin up its tyres.
“It was a gust of wind… a big one,” Rosberg said. “Everybody has it, so you can't really use it as an excuse. It is still a mistake but I understand my mistake now, which is important. For me to understand it, it is very unusual scenario that happened just once in all of those laps, so I understand the mistake and it helps me moving forward. I lost a lot of rear downforce as a result.”
Rosberg is set to undergo talks with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and team-mate Lewis Hamilton after the pair traded icy exchanges after the race in Austin, with Wolff fearing a repeat of the friction witnessed between the pair at Spa in 2014.
After the race in America, Hamilton told the press it is the worst thing to be his team-mate which Rosberg says he will use as extra motivation for the remainder of the season and into 2016.
“That comment makes it even better for me because I will get even more pleasure from beating him next time,” he said. “I am able to reset and I am excited to be here. I want to win. That's it. Ready to go.”