Mercedes GP Petronas suffered a frustrating and pointless weekend at Valencia. However, while both drivers qualified outside the top ten for the race the team put the blame for the poor race showing of the separate affect the race's safety car period had on their two drivers.
With both drivers at an unexpected disadvantage they spent the remainder of the race fighting for a chance to overtake on a twisting track with few passing opportunities.
“Nico got caught up at the start therefore we made an early pit stop which was unfortunately compromised when the safety car came out and we lost any benefit,” explains Ross Brawn.
“With Michael, we were looking to benefit strongly from the safety car. As the leaders had not been picked up, Michael was waved through and that gave us a golden opportunity to make his pit stop as our predictions were that the option tyre would hold up for the remainder of the race. However, when Michael came to exit the pits, the red light was showing which cost him a significant amount of time.”
“In our view, the regulations are clear that the exit light should not go red until the line of cars has formed behind the safety car, and we would like the FIA to look into this. There was no line formed and over 18 seconds between Hamilton and Kobayashi when Michael came in.”
“What a race. We would like to have clarification about the safety car situation as the red light on the exit from my first pit stop destroyed a race which otherwise would have offered us very good possibilities,” echoes Schumacher who finished the race 16th.
“Our point of view is that as the safety car had passed the pits without having the cars lined up behind it, there should not have been a red light. There was a green light for a moment and then suddenly it went red again. We believe that this was not correct.”
“It wasn’t a great race for me today and not much fun out there,” says 12th place finisher Rosberg. “I struggled for grip throughout and had to work really hard to save my brakes which completely took away the ability to challenge and try to make up positions. But we tried to look for the positives and learn something because you can always learn from any situation and use the experiences later.”