Mercedes Pointless Streak Goes On After Awful Austin

by Louis Suddaby

Mercedes have now gone five races without scoring a point after Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher could only finish thirteenth and sixteenth respectively. The younger German was handicapped by a poor grid position and couldn’t use his contrary strategy to the rest of the field to make significant progress. Rosberg is already turning his attention to next year despite one more race remaining.

“It was a difficult weekend for us and unfortunately we weren’t able to score any points today. However we have learned some important lessons for next year and that’s what counts at the moment. I hope we can be more successful next year here in Austin as I have enjoyed our visit. The track, the people and the city are absolutely fantastic. So I look forward to coming back here in 2013 and we will work hard next weekend to finish the season on a positive note.”

Schumacher started from the third row but tumbled down the order as the W03 wore its tyres quicker than its competitors, forcing him into a two-stop strategy.

“I can’t find any words other than ironic ones for the race today – there was a lot of action around me but unfortunately in the wrong direction. To say that the race was a real struggle would be an understatement. I couldn’t get any grip from my first set of tyres, and there must have been some kind of damage for them to perform so badly. We had to change our strategy to two stops which then compromised our race even further. All in all, it was much worse than expected today, especially considering that things did not look that bad yesterday and Friday.”

Team Principal Ross Brawn felt points would’ve been possible for Rosberg without his difficult qualifying session and was also happy with Schumacher’s pace when his tyres were holding together.

“After a good qualifying result, Michael’s first set of tyres performed very badly today and we decided to convert his strategy to a two-stop race. Once we got onto another set, the lap times came back up to what we expected but having such a poor first stint made it very difficult for him. Nico started a long way back and conserved his tyres well as we knew that we wanted to make a one-stop strategy work. He actually had a pretty good race with respectable lap times, and if we had managed to qualify better, he would have been in a reasonable place. Whilst it is disappointing not to score any points, we have learnt a lot about the car and tyres this weekend which will be useful for the future. Despite our result, this has been a great weekend for Formula One in the United States, and it was very pleasing to see so many fans here for the first race in Austin. Our thanks for the organisers for putting on such a good show.”

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