Mercedes finished the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in fifth and sixth places today, the best result they could realistically have hoped for going into the race.
Michael Schumacher was the happier of the two drivers, coming from eleventh on the grid to finish ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg, who started from seventh.
“I am obviously happy about the race today,” said the seven-time world champion. “We achieved the maximum that we could hope for, and as a team we maximised our potential. Fifth and sixth places are a great result for us. On top of that, my car was very nicely sorted for the race and very stable.
“At the start, everything worked out according to my strategy as I deliberately didn’t want to use KERS in the first two corners and save it for the long straight where I knew that I could make up some positions. In the second stint, I managed to maintain my tyres so I could stay out longer and that was enough for fifth place.
“What’s really important at the moment is that we keep pushing and trying to improve, and that is what we achieved today. To the organisers of the first Indian Grand Prix, I would like to send a big compliment; I’m sure that I am not the only one to say that this was a very positive debut.”
Rosberg also enjoyed his time in India, but had some excuses up his sleeve for how Schumacher finished ahead of him. On the plus side, he did finish in a higher position from where he started, a feat he has achieved only one other time this season.
“We can be happy with a good team result and that’s what the boys in the garage deserved,” said the German. “I’m also pleased to have gained one place on my grid position. However my strategy was not perfect today and I lost some time in the second pit stop which meant that I wasn’t able stay ahead of Michael.
“I had good pace at the end of the race and pushed very hard but it was impossible to catch him over the last laps. I’m confident that we can repeat this good result in the last two races. All in all, it has been a good Indian Grand Prix debut for us and I hope all the fans enjoyed the race. I’m looking forward to coming back next year.”
Ross Brawn said that his two drivers were actually pretty closely matched today, adding that he was delighted with the result that they achieved.
“A very solid race from the drivers and team today, and we are very pleased to have achieved fifth and sixth places,” said the Mercedes team principal, summarising the race. “Michael, Nico and the engineers did an excellent job to focus on getting the car right for the race, and making the best use of the tyres. We certainly got everything that we could out of our current car this weekend.
“It was an exciting race from our two drivers with Michael coming out on top this time, however you could see just how closely matched they are during the race. Nico’s second set of tyres faded a little bit more on him whilst Michael was able to stay out longer which was enough to take fifth place. It was a very good result for the team today and I’m extremely pleased with how we have worked this weekend.”