Mercedes came away from the Japanese Grand Prix having scored no points. Nico Rosberg was eliminated in a crash on the first lap, whilst Michael Schumacher valiantly raced his way through the pack from twenty third on the grid, but ultimately finished just outside the points in eleventh.
Schumacher enjoyed good speed throughout the race, but ultimately could not find a way past Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo. The seven times champion had come into the weekend with a ten place grid penalty after crashing into Ricciardo’s team mate Vergne during the last race.
“I have mixed feelings after the race here in Japan, because it’s obviously unfortunate to come so close to scoring points and not manage it, after a race which went better than we expected,” the German legend explained.
“In the final laps, I had a nice and interesting battle with Ricciardo, but in the end I couldn’t get past him because the Toro Rosso was so quick on the straights. That’s why we have to say we couldn’t have got much more out of it today. Now let’s see how things go in Korea.”
For Rosberg, there wasn’t too much to say as his race was over before it had even begun.
“I had a good start to the race but unfortunately it ended fairly quickly today. In the first corner Grosjean spun into Webber and that also led to my accident. I began to brake but Senna crashed into me from behind which destroyed my rear tyre and meant that I had to retire. It’s a shame as I felt very comfortable with my car on the installation lap, and I was confident that we could score some decent points. I’ll now hope for a better weekend in Korea.”
“From where he started today, Michael drove a strong race, and it’s a shame that he didn’t get some points for his efforts. However starting from twenty third on the grid made that just too much of a challenge, despite a very good strategy and encouraging pace from the car in the lower temperatures,” Ross Brawn added.
“The accident which caused Nico’s retirement was a great shame as the car was in good shape and he could have scored decent points if he hadn’t been taken out. There were some encouraging signs in the race and we will take heart from that as we continue to work on improving the car.”