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Karthikeyan blames steering failure for Rosberg crash
4 November 2012
Nico Rosberg's participation in the 2012 F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi might only have lasted nine laps, but it was certainly packed full of drama.
Starting from sixth place on the grid, there was the first lap clash with the Lotus of Romain Grosjean which left Rosberg with a broken front wing that needed a costly return to the pits to replace, dropping him down to 21st position and effectively ended any hopes he might have had of a decent result at Yas Marina.
"My car felt competitive today so it's a real shame not to have finished the race and scored some points," he said. "Unfortunately that chance was gone after the first lap incident with Romain."
That put him in full-on recovery mode from the back of the field not unlike his compatriot Sebastian Vettel. But in Rosberg's case, the drive back to the front did not go according to plan. He was closing up on the back of Narain Karthikeyan's HRT expecting a simple pass, when the car ahead suddenly slowed dramatically and caught him out.
"Narain told me that his steering broke and he needed to brake which I didn't expect in that high-speed corner," said Rosberg, whose car impacted the side of the HRT and was launched into the air over Karthikeyan's head, coming back down to earth in the fortunately spacious run-off area. "There was no time for me to react."
"We had a problem with the hydraulic pressure and steering of the car went rock solid, so I had to lift my foot off the accelerator," confirmed Karthikeyan. "Unfortunately, Rosberg was coming from behind and couldn't avoid me. It was tremendously unlucky."
Fortunately, neither driver was injured in the scary crash: "I went to the medical centre for a precautionary check but everything is good," confirmed Rosberg. "I'm very thankful that we are both fine.
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn described the crash in typically understated fashion as "fairly dramatic." It left the team reliant on Michael Schumacher to try and salvage some championship points for them on the Yas Marina Circuit, but after running as high as eighth on a one-stop strategy he suffered a puncture from debris that forced him back into the pits and out of the points.
"Due to the puncture I had to do another pit stop very late in the race which lost me a points scoring position," said the former multiple world champion. "Of course this is part of the game and you cannot do anything about it but it was a real pity as we had reasonable pace and could have taken some points."
"Michael drove a strong race and we had a good strategy but unfortunately he picked up a puncture in the debris left from the various accidents which made the end of his race very difficult," confirmed Brawn. "The dice just aren't falling for us at the moment but the positive is that the car was better this weekend so we just need to keep working hard."
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