ENGINE BLOWOUT: Nico Rosberg's Mercedes car suffered an engine blowout two laps before the end of the Italian GP. Image: AP/ Ronald Zak
Monza, Italy - Nico Rosberg vowed to keep on fighting after an engine failure at the Italian GP dealt a hammer blow to his Formula 1 title hopes on Sunday (September 5) and left him 53 points adrift of Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton.
The deficit means the German will still be behind the double world champion in the standings even if he wins the next two races and Hamilton - who has triumphed in seven of 12 so far - draws a blank.
HAMILTON IN THE DRIVING SEAT
With seven races remaining, the points gap also means Hamilton does not have to win another race this season to take a third championship.
Rosberg told reporters: "It's a fact that it's taken a massive step in the wrong direction." The German's engine blew two laps from the finish at Monza while he had been in third place and challenging for second. Hamilton won the race.
"It's been the biggest loss that I've had in one day in the whole season, so that's very bad. But I keep going, giving up doesn't exist for me, just keep fighting and now I'll just try and win the next couple of races."
Read: 2015 Italian GP: As it happened
The prospects of that happening do not look great, with Hamilton's victory at Monza in 2014 setting off a run of five wins in succession for the Briton.
"WEEKEND WENT COMPLETELY WRONG"
Rosberg, by contrast has previously won only one of the remaining races - Brazil in 2014.
The German said: "The whole weekend just went wrong completely, very unlucky I think." Rosberg was slower than Hamilton in practice at Monza and then saw his weekend compromised by having to use an older engine after a problem emerged before qualifying.
The engine he raced with had already been used in five previous race weekends, whereas Hamilton enjoyed the benefits of a new and upgraded power unit.
Rosberg said: "Just so many repercussions of this engine issue...it wasn't even an engine issue, it was actually a chassis issue, that meant we had to change the engine, and then it was a difficult race as a result."