Mercedes were in a positive mood after fourth and fifth place finishes for Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg in today’s Turkish Grand Prix.
Schumacher started fifth and momentarily moved up into fourth place off the start line, but the McLaren of Jenson Button fought back to reclaim the position by the end of the first lap.
Both Mercedes drivers were promoted one place from their starting positions when Sebastian Vettel retired after colliding with his teammate Mark Webber while attempting to overtake him.
“My race started as I had hoped when I was able to catch Jenson right at the start,” said Schumacher.
“Unfortunately I did not have a lot of grip with the tyres as the formation lap was quite slow and the pressures had gone down which combined with the top speed of the McLarens meant that I could not hold Jenson behind me for long. I was even struggling to keep the car on the track during the first lap.
“From there onwards, I was in my starting position and when Sebastian retired, we were able to pick up a place. That was about it.
“It was a straightforward race for me without any more possibilities. I understand at the front there was quite a bit happening so for the fans, it was a good show.
“All in all, I think we had a positive race and we clearly made a step forward towards Red Bull and in front of Ferrari, so we can be quite happy about that.”
Nico Rosberg spent much of the race following his teammate closely, but was unable to do anything about the seven-time world champion ahead of him.
“I am reasonably happy with fifth place today although it was an uneventful race for me,” said Rosberg. “I was slightly faster than Michael for much of the race but it was not possible to overtake and I had to be careful as Robert was pushing hard behind me.
“For me, the most exciting part of the race were the in and out laps for my pit stop which were pretty fast and together with the great work from the team, that enabled me to stay ahead of the cars just behind me on track.
“Although our general pace still has to be improved, I’m satisfied that we have taken what we could from this weekend.”
Team principal Ross Brawn explained that this result was the best the team could have hoped for, and congratulated them for their recent efforts:
“[It was] a solid performance today in which we achieved the potential of the car with both drivers. We had a purposefully quiet early part of race as we were unable to challenge the leading group and therefore decided to save our tyres for the second half.
“Michael, Nico and the team did an extremely good job with the car that we had and once again our pit stops were very impressive. Compliments to them all today.
“We have made reasonable progress with our latest set of upgrades thanks for the hard work of everyone at the factory but clearly we have a lot of work still to do.”
Nobert Haug agreed with Brawn’s sentiments, and also had some congratulatory words for another Mercedes-powered team.
“Fourth and fifth positions for Michael and Nico were the best results we could achieve today as our pace was only ok in the last third of the race. We are aware that we need further improvements and we definitely will get them.
“Congratulations to McLaren Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton for achieving the 71st victory for Mercedes-Benz since our first win with David Coulthard in a McLaren Mercedes in Melbourne 1997.
“Four Mercedes-powered cars came home in the top five today which is a remarkable result, especially for our hard-working engine guys, so well done to you all.”