Mercedes draw some positives from their weekend in Turkey, which saw Nico Rosberg finish fifth, but Michael Schumacher down in twelfth.
Rosberg began the race in third place, and was up to second in the early stages. However, he was overtaken several times in the first half of the race before recovering to overtake Jenson Button in the closing laps. The German thinks that this is a positive result for the team that is indicative of their improving performance:
“My start today was fantastic to overtake Mark and be running in second place on the first lap, but from there I was struggling with my tyres on the first stint,” Rosberg explained. “Our strategy worked out well to bring me back into a decent position so we can be reasonably satisfied, and I'm happy to be in front of Jenson and just a few seconds behind Lewis in the McLarens.
“There is still a gap to the top but we have continued to improve the car this weekend. We don't know exactly why we are better in qualifying than in the race but we will work on this. Overall I had another good weekend and I'm looking forward to Barcelona.”
Schumacher had an early collision with the Renault of Vitaly Petrov, forcing him into an early pit stop for a new nose. The seven-time world champion admitted that he was at fault for the incident, but does recognise that, despite the poor result, Mercedes are heading in the right direction.
“A lot of fighting and action today, and that was probably the positive part of my race,” commented Schumacher. “Obviously I am not very happy with my weekend, but I’m responsible myself for the result. The incident with Petrov kind of dictated my race: we were very close and I was surprised that we touched but it was mostly my mistake.
“After making such an early stop, the way the race played out was given from there. What we can take away from this weekend in Turkey is that we have confirmed our good trend and we still have things to come to help us deliver more of our potential.”
Ross Brawn said that the high-fuel section of the race was their weakest; something that they need to address for future races. He is optimistic that performance will improve further in Spain in a fortnight.
“The race balance that we gave Nico wasn't as good as we had hoped and on high fuel, the car was too hard on its tyres,” he said. “That spoiled the first half of the race but in the second half, our pace was more respectable. Nico began climbing back through the field towards where we had hoped to be racing; however we were too far back by then.
“Fifth place is still a respectable result taking everything into account, but fine-tuning our race set-up will be a particular priority for the next races, especially at circuits where the tyres are delicate to manage.
“Michael got out of phase because of his unplanned stop on lap two and that left him with a difficult task, especially as a number of other events in the race cost him time. Overall, we are moving forward from where we began the season, but we're still not where we want to be. We will keep on pushing hard.”