Rosberg curses bad luck as title hopes slip away

Sun Oct 11, 2015 1:58pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Nico Rosberg vowed to bounce back and win the next race in Texas but in his heart he knows his Formula One title hopes are over for another year after retiring from Sunday's Russian Grand Prix.

With Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton taking his ninth win of the season, the German is now 73 points behind the Briton with four races -- a maximum of 100 points -- still to come.

As Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda said after the race at Sochi's Olympic Park circuit, Rosberg has only a mathematical chance.

"He could have won the race today so if you lose 25 points then it’s difficult," the Austrian told Reuters when asked whether he saw any way back for the German.

"Mathematically yes, but then Lewis has to retire now and go home. He will not."

Rosberg had started on pole position and kept Hamilton behind him but his hopes of a victory evaporated early on when his car developed a throttle problem that forced him back to the pits and retirement after seven laps.

"It is tough. It really is tough," he told reporters.

"Coming here, really having an awesome weekend with qualifying, race start, first corner, everything really going to plan and then to lose it in such a way is very tough."   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany drives in pit lane after he had a problem with his car during the Russian F1 Grand Prix in Sochi October 11, 2015.  REUTERS/Srdjan Suki/Pool