Rosberg's title hopes hit by retirement

Rosberg's title hopes hit by retirement
Championship leader Rosberg's car failed to get off the grid for the warm-up lap. He was forced to start the race from the pit lane. But on Lap 15, he retired, giving up his lead in the drivers' championship to teammate Hamilton.

It was widely expected to be an electrifying race, with experts predicting that an all-out duel between two feuding teammates would light up the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

But electrical issues put paid to that, with the drama coming even before the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix began last night, when championship leader Nico Rosberg's car failed to get off the grid for the warm-up lap.

The German, who had arrived for Formula One's only night race with a decent 22-point lead over his Mercedes teammate and keenest rival Lewis Hamilton, was forced to start the race from the pit lane.

But on Lap 15, he gave up the ghost - and with Hamilton zooming to the chequered flag - his lead in the drivers' title race.

Rosberg now trails the Briton by three points, with five races remaining.

"It wasn't so much a roller-coaster ride because it was all downhill for me," the German told the BBC. "I was stuck with no power, only able to shift gear pedals, but even there not every gear. It was all over the place."

Rosberg had to change his steering wheel three times in the final 25 minutes before the start.

"The steering wheel did not work and then the whole car wasn't working," he said. "We need to find out what the problem was because again we have a reliability problem.

"We've had a few this year and that's our weakness. We need to get to the bottom of it and make the car 100 per cent reliable."

However, there was some good news for three-time Singapore champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull. The reigning world champion, who has had a dismal season by his lofty standards, produced his best finish this season - second place.

He was followed home by teammate Daniel Ricciardo, with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in fourth.

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