After locking out the front row during qualifying yesterday, Mercedes suffered a torrid time in the race with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton dropping to sixth and twelfth place finishes respectively in the Spanish Grand Prix.
For pole sitter Rosberg, it was a frustrating afternoon as he lost the lead of the race shortly after the first round of pit stops.
“I had a very tough race this afternoon. The start was good and I managed my first stint well to keep some of the quicker cars behind me. From there, I had to drive my own race and we began to go backwards as it made no sense to destroy my tyres by trying to stay ahead,” he said
“We didn’t have the pace of the quickest cars today and there’s a growing gap to three teams ahead of us which we need to get on top of. We have a very quick car but we have to make it work for us in the race.”
Things were even tougher for team mate Lewis Hamilton, who failed to finish in the points despite starting from second place on the grid.
“A difficult afternoon today and going backwards is never fun. We switched to a four-stop strategy during the race but I suffered with a lack of grip and balance throughout and we were never really able to get the tyres working. I know that everyone at the team is working so hard and we need to keep positive. I’m sure we will figure the problem out and we’ve got to keep pushing together to close the gap. I will be doing my best to help and encourage the guys,” the 2008 champion said afterwards.
“We endured a very difficult afternoon and the comparison between our competitiveness in qualifying and in the race was particularly disappointing. Nico did an excellent job managing the tyres to make just three stops and his level of performance showed what our car is currently capable of on tracks like this,” team boss Ross Brawn added.
“Lewis didn’t have a good balance at any point and that simply made a critical situation worse, which forced him to convert to a four-stop strategy midway through the race. We must find the key to why we are losing performance on Sunday afternoon and find the right solutions to improve.”