The Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher each made up one place on their starting position at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix today, finishing sixth and seventh respectively.
Schumacher, who had to stop his car out on the track at the end of the race because of a slow puncture, described the result as ‘reasonable’.
“A reasonable race today and some reasonable points I would say,” said the seven-time world champion. “Considering that we did not manage to find the perfect balance yesterday, we managed to get the maximum out of our situation today. But then, I did lose some small parts of the car which cost us some balance, and towards the end I had a slow puncture, which is why I had to park my car at turn two.
“The tyres gave up rather early in the first stint but that was due to our tyre strategy yesterday when we wanted to save a fresh set for the race. I therefore had quite used tyres for the start. We now have to look into the data and make sure we are well prepared for the last race of the season which we want to finish as well as possible.”
The two team-mates enjoyed a lively battle for position on the opening lap of the race, from which Rosberg came out on top.
“It was an interesting race for me today,” he said. “The start didn’t work out very well as I tried to overtake Felipe but suddenly there was no space left. Michael was able to overtake me, and we had a fun battle before I took the place back.
“From then, I was able to handle my tyre situation very well. I stayed out a bit longer before the second stop as there was some grip left, and it was better to stay out with the softer tyres. With the prime tyres, I had some understeer which made it impossible to overtake Felipe towards the end.
“Thanks to my engineering team who did a brilliant job here and I was quite happy with my car all weekend. Our pit stop guys were also great again, and that’s why we achieved a good result today. It makes me look forward to Brazil and hopefully we can achieve another good result there.”
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said that he is perfectly happy with his two drivers racing as they did today, and praised them both for their efforts at this grand prix.
“[It was] a very lively first lap between our drivers today which was highly entertaining,” he said. “We’ve often said that they are free to race as long as they keep it sensible, and it was good to see today. Nico had the stronger pace this evening, and his lap times during the race were quite encouraging.
“Our performance today reminds us of the little bit that we have to close down to become truly competitive, but it is within reach. Both Nico and Michael drove extremely well, and with good pit stops and a sound strategy, we achieved possibly the best results that we can at the moment.”