Mercedes Leave Empty Handed Despite Qualifying Potential


Michael Schumacher leads Sebastian Vettel - Photo Credit: Pirelli
Michael Schumacher leads Sebastian Vettel - Photo Credit: Pirelli

 

After showing so well in qualifying, Mercedes AMG Petronas couldn't translate it into points as a mixture of poor reliability and misfortune conspired against them. Michael Schumacher ran third in the early stages ahead of Sebastian Vettel but suffered a gearbox problem on lap 11 which forced him into retirement.

The seven-times champion was keen to take the positives from the weekend and hopes to be able to show what the W03's capable of in Malaysia next weekend.

“It was an unfortunate end to my race when I lost drive going into turn one. I was trying different gears and occasionally the drive came back, but in the end, I had to go onto the grass to avoid the risk of the car being forced into a spin. It was especially unfortunate as we have not had this problem during the winter tests and were very reliable. This is why I am not concerned, as I know things like this happen in racing, and our reliability is not in question. I believe I could have had a good race this afternoon, and I can still take some positives out of the weekend as we have seen our car was confirming our feelings, and is definitely a clear step forward. We can now build on that and start improving further.”

Teammate Nico Rosberg ran as high as fourth after a wonderful start but contact with Sergio Perez on the last lap left him with a puncture, dropping him from seventh to 12th. Rosberg didn't feel he got the best out of the car today and is eager to put that right next weekend.

“I had a perfect start today and was able to gain three positions, however unfortunately we weren’t able to maintain that pace, and the race did not turn out as we had hoped. The end was particularly unfortunate with Perez when we touched on the straight, causing a puncture which took away a points scoring finish. We have a lot of work to do to understand what went wrong, and how we can use the full potential which our car definitely shows. I’m still positive as Malaysia is a completely different track so I’m looking ahead to next weekend now.”

Team Principal Ross Brawn feels the track evolution hurt the performance of the car as it struggled to look after its tyres.

“After a very encouraging weekend, today was not a good result for us. Despite excellent starts, both Michael and Nico had difficulties from the start of the race with their tyres. With the development of the circuit and the track temperatures, we fell out of the working window, and struggled with degradation. However, we remain positive as both here and over the winter tests, we have demonstrated that we have a fundamentally quick car and we have a lot to build on. So we need to look at what happened today, unravel the problem and work out where we need to improve.”