Mercedes had a disappointing weekend in their home grand prix at Hockenheim as Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher finished eighth and ninth respectively – the best result they could have hoped for given the car at their disposal.
Schumacher started eleventh but made three places up off the line, while Rosberg settled behind him in ninth. Both drivers tried to pass the Renault of Robert Kubica during the race, but to no avail. Rosberg made his mandatory pit stop later in the race than Schumacher, and was able to take eighth place from him later as he emerged from the pit lane.
“We made the best of our situation today but it is frustrating after being on the podium at the last race,” said Rosberg. “Achieving eighth place is damage limitation really and we were able to minimise the loss to Robert in terms of points but it has generally been a struggle this weekend.
“My strategy was good and the guys made a fantastic effort with my pit stop being the quickest of the race. There are surely better times ahead in Hungary.”
Schumacher says that the team have more work to do if they want to finish any higher in the coming races. “I had a pretty good start today but from then onwards, there was not much more that we could do,” explained the seven-time world champion.
“We were targeting to stay out long but we changed the strategy to react to the circumstances and maybe I could have finished slightly higher. But in the end, that would not have changed much in a race where we had hoped to be more competitive. What we achieved after my stop was the maximum that was possible.
“Of course I would have wished for more, especially as our race performance tends to be better than qualifying, but it did not work out. We will certainly not get nervous but we have to sit down, analyse the reasons and put the right solutions in place.”
Ross Brawn found plenty of positives that Mercedes can take from the German Grand Prix, but agrees that the result reflects the relative competitiveness of their car at the moment. “We did a reasonable job today with the car that we currently have,” said the Mercedes team principal. “It was a little bit frustrating, particularly for Nico, as he was in a very strong position to get past Robert Kubica with his strategy. Unfortunately he lost some time getting tangled up with Mark Webber and ended up coming out just behind Robert.
“The car was more consistent in the race than in qualifying but we have to find some more performance. The team and drivers did a great job, we have good reliability and the two fastest pit stops today, so all the foundations are in place for when we develop a better car.”