Mercedes endured a disappointing race in Monaco today after Michael Schumacher retired on Lap 33 and Nico Rosberg finished down in eleventh and out of the points.
Both drivers lost valuable track positions in their first stint after experiencing severe rear tyre degradation, a drop-off in performance not seen in the practice sessions.
ï»¿“I had a good start today, and that's the one positive thing that we can take from the race,” said Rosberg, who started from eighth and was up to fifth in the opening corners. “After that, I thought that I would be able to push but unfortunately the rear tyres went off in the first stint which really cost me performance.
“It was a difficult weekend for us with the car not at its best, and I was not at my best either, so it didn't really come together. That happens sometimes but we will push and be better in Montreal. We will learn from what happened today and we know that the result is not where we belong. I'm sure we can improve and look forward to seeing that in a fortnight.”
An airbox fire ended Schumacher’s race, which he suggests was ruined on the opening lap after a poor start and then a light collision with Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time world champion also expressed his relief at the well-being of Vitaly Petrov who was taken to the medical centre after a collision late-on in the grand prix.
“Unfortunately, there are not a lot of positives we will be able to take away from this race,” was Schumacher’s damming conclusion. “At the end, there was a fire inside the airbox and the car simply stopped, but the beginning of the race was not satisfying either.
“At the start, the anti-stall system suddenly kicked in which meant I had to re-do the whole starting procedure. Then I had a rendezvous with Lewis at turn one which left my front wing not working properly, so I lost downforce which also handicapped my tyres. That meant we had to stop much earlier than we had planned and, from then onwards, the race was obviously compromised.
“All in all though, the race was quite exciting, and I am happy that Vitaly Petrov seems to be well.”
Ross Brawn was at a loss to explain quite why the race turned out to be so disappointing for the team today, especially after a good qualifying performance. “We felt confident after qualifying and practice that both drivers would have some good opportunities today but clearly it turned out to be a very disappointing race,” he said. “The difficulties that we experienced on the first set of tyres, with the super softs falling away from us and graining so early, really dictated our race.
“We need to look into it as this was surprising after the good pace we had during the practice sessions. We had a few technical problems with the cars in the race but the core issue was the inability to make the first set of tyres last more than ten or twelve laps.”