Mercedes showed good race pace in Brazil as both Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher improved on their starting positions to finish sixth and seventh respectively.
Rosberg started thirteenth after ‘traffic problems’ in qualifying yesterday and, despite a superfluous visit to the pit lane under safety car conditions made up seven place in the race. He even had a helping hand from his seven-time world champion teammate: “I had a strong start today and when Michael pitted ahead of me, I had clear air and was able to make up positions thanks to our good strategy,” said the German.
“From then, it got a little chaotic but the team made a great call to get me on new rubber when the safety car came out. Unfortunately Jenson (Button – who finished fifth) did the same and there was a lot of chaos with lapped cars so I wasn't able to make up any further positions. Michael let me past which was nice as he was on used rubber against my new tyres.”
Schumacher started eighth and finished seventh, but thinks he may have done better with a slightly different strategy. The German is now looking forward to his first taste of the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. “I had quite a good start today gaining two positions which unfortunately I lost again directly afterwards following my exit on the grass because of the fight with Robert,” explained Schumacher. “We then had good pace but with hindsight, my pit stop was maybe a little too early which left me stuck behind Adrian.
“Towards the end, I let Nico past when he was on fresh tyres as he had the better chance to fight Jenson in front of us. I look forward to Abu Dhabi now where I hope to have another encouraging race.”
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said that a radio problem was to blame for Rosberg’s extra pit stop, and send out a warning to the newly crowned constructors’ champions. “We are pleased to get a solid double points finish with good drives from Nico and Michael today,” said Brawn. “It was frustrating to lose a place to Jenson in the early stops as we expected him to get held up with traffic but he did a good job to get through.
“We made all the right strategy calls today which enabled us to make up several places on cars ahead of us on the grid. We had a radio problem which caused confusion with the tyres at Nico's second stop however we boxed him again with no loss of position.
“It's good to have two cars scoring points but obviously we are not finishing where we would like to. Congratulations to Red Bull for taking our Constructors' title today and we will be after them next year.”