Hungarian F1 Grand Prix 2011: Race Report - Nico P9, Michael DNF (MGP)
On a damp afternoon at the Hungaroring, Nico Rosberg finished in ninth place at the end of the Hungarian Grand Prix, scoring two points, whilst team-mate Michael Schumacher was forced to retire.
• Both drivers had good starts with Nico gaining three places and Michael four positions.
• Nico completed four stops: on lap 12, 27, 50 and 54, running intermediate/option/prime/intermediate/prime.
• Michael completed two stops: on lap 13 for options and lap 26 for primes.
• His car subsequently suffered a gearbox problem which led to his early retirement on lap 26.
“I had a decent start today and gained three positions which was encouraging. In the middle of the race, the prime tyres no longer had any grip in the increasingly damp conditions so we took the decision to put on intermediates. Unfortunately the rain shower proved not to be very strong and we had to switch to slicks which cost me a few positions. I pushed very hard to catch Buemi and Di Resta, and managed to close the gap, but it was impossible to overtake them in the last corners. So I collected just two points, but still more than last year. Now I’m looking forward to the next two races after the break. Spa and Monza are high-speed tracks where the Mercedes-Benz engine power in our car should be a benefit.”
“An unfortunate end to my race today when we suffered a gearbox problem which forced my retirement. As far as we know, this had nothing to do with the spin I had when fighting with Felipe which was mainly caused by avoiding contact. At the start, we gambled a little with low tyre pressures as we were expecting the track to dry quite quickly, but that turned out to be very slippery to drive. I came in for dry tyres one lap too late, but we can only handle one car at a time obviously. From then onwards, the race developed normally, but I would not have been able to make a very big step forward from the position I was in when I retired.”
“Our race began well with good starts from both drivers and generally looked quite encouraging, particularly when we made the move to prime tyres at the right time. We were planning on a two-stop strategy, however the shower caught us out as we expected it to get much heavier, which didn’t happen. So that was clearly the wrong move and spoilt the race for Nico who had to try and recover from there. Michael unfortunately had a gearbox problem which forced the early retirement of his car. It’s not been a particularly auspicious weekend for us but we will take a lot of lessons from here for when we have a better car to work with.”
“In the end, it did not pay off to put Nico on intermediates when we were expecting more rain. He would have finished in seventh place which he missed by one and a half seconds after his four stops, rather than in ninth position. Nico showed good speed in the last part of the race, and the team will build on that after the summer break. Michael´s car suffered from a gearbox problem which we still have to investigate. Congratulations to Jenson Button and McLaren Mercedes for winning this dramatic race; well done and victory number 77 with Mercedes-Benz power since the start of the new era in 1997 and the 253 races since then. A well deserved summer break now for everybody and afterwards we are looking forward to the Belgian Grand Prix which will mark Michael´s 20th anniversary in Formula One.”
* Official photos and report courtesy of MERCEDES GP PETRONAS *
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