Mercedes: We are not quite where we want to be yet
23 September, 2012
Sep.23 (Mercedes) Nico Rosberg finished the Singapore Grand Prix in fifth place this evening, making up five places on his starting position, whilst team-mate Michael Schumacher retired from the race on lap 38.
Nico followed a two-stop option/prime/prime strategy, stopping on laps 12 and 33
Michael was following the same strategy until his retirement, and pitted on laps 11 and 33
Michael retired from the race following a collision with Jean-Eric Vergne at turn 14 on lap 38
Everything worked out well for me this evening for the first time in what feels like a long time! Finishing in fifth place, having started in 10th is a pretty decent result, and I’m happy to have picked up some good points for myself and the team. It’s also nice to have stayed ahead of the two Lotus cars which I didn’t expect before the race. Saving a fresh set of tyres in qualifying yesterday proved to be the right strategy as I had a good start and a strong first stint. Thanks to the team for that and for making the right calls in the race today. Now I’m looking forward to Japan and the opportunity to improve our new package further.
It was obviously a very unfortunate ending to my race this evening when I ran into the car of Vergne who accepted my apology straight afterwards. I am not totally sure why it happened like this; I was braking but the deceleration was not as strong as it usually would be, and I could not avoid running into the car in front of me. We have to find out what has happened. Up until then, I think it would have been possible to get some points this evening.
That was a tough race and I am pleased that the team did a pretty good job this evening. Nico had a great race and our strategy worked well for him to gain five places on his starting position. There was evidently some damage to his car following contact on the first lap as the downforce levels looked lower than expected so it was an even better drive from him in the circumstances. Michael’s race was also going well until the incident which caused his retirement. It was an unusual set of circumstances so we will have a careful look at the data and work out what could have happened. Thank you to the team for all of their hard work in very challenging conditions over this weekend. With the updates that we brought to this race, the car has improved, however we are not quite where we want to be yet.
That was an exceptionally challenging race this evening. With regard to Nico, he and our team made the best of it. P5 is a respectable result, especially in view of the fact that Nico started five places further back on the grid. He crossed the finishing line ahead of a Red Bull, a Ferrari and both Lotus cars, all teams which are ahead of us in the championship. This was made possible by having a sound strategy and by the first of the two safety car deployments when the team took the correct decision. Michael had the opportunity to claim the position behind Nico, but his accident put paid to that. The team is investigating to see whether there was a problem with his car.
Subbed by AJN.