by Adrian Dorofte and Adrian Andronic
e-mail: mercedesbenzblog@gmail.com

German F1 Grand Prix 2013 - Nürburgring: Complete Report from MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS

I. Friday's Free Practice Report

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton finished in second and eighth places respectively today after the first practice session for the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring circuit.

• Nico and Lewis completed a total of 123 laps today, equivalent to just over two race distances, on the new Pirelli tyres

• Both drivers found an understeer balance during the day, which the team will work to improve overnight


Nico Rosberg
“It´s a great track and a lot of fun to drive here with my current Silver Arrow. It was an interesting day for us as we had to adapt to the new tyres. They are different and require a different set-up, so today was a good opportunity to learn something. We want to understand them quicker and better than the other teams. Generally it seems that we are quick again over one lap and the long run was not bad. It´s difficult to predict where we are, because you never know exactly about the fuel levels of the others. Also it´s going to get warmer on Sunday and this could change also the whole picture again.”

Lewis Hamilton
“It´s been a reasonable day of practice for us. This morning went pretty well and the car felt good, but then we made some changes which didn´t quite work out for us this afternoon. The car felt a little off balance during P2 so we´ll have a look into that overnight and probably backtrack on some of those changes for tomorrow. I´m sure we will be back on form for P3.”

Ross Brawn
“We had a good session of race preparation this afternoon, with our priority being to complete long runs with fuel on the new tyre construction. Both Lewis and Nico were running with understeer today, so we still have work to do to improve the car balance for them. The circuit itself was picking up grip quite quickly and we didn´t quite get the set-up correct as we tried to track it. However, the priority was to collect plenty of information about the new tyres for both tomorrow and Sunday, which we managed to do. The car seemed reasonably competitive and that´s reassuring, as we know there is still more performance to be found when the drivers are fully comfortable with the car.”

Toto Wolff
“We had a solid first day in the cool conditions here. The new tyres ran without any incidents and we learned a lot about them, even if there are clearly some areas where we can still improve. The car balance was not great but both Lewis and Nico seemed quite competitive, so hopefully we can take another step forward tomorrow. The weather is forecast to warm up, so we will need to make the right changes tonight in order to anticipate the warmer conditions over the weekend.”

II. Saturday's Qualifying Report

Lewis Hamilton took his second consecutive pole position this afternoon at the Nürburgring and his third of the 2013 season.

• It is the first Mercedes-Benz pole position at the German Grand Prix since Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954 at the Nordschleife

• This was Lewis’ 29th career pole position, which brings him level with Juan Manuel Fangio on the all-time list

• Lewis used one set of prime tyres and three sets of options in qualifying; he will start on the option tyre tomorrow

• Nico qualified in P11 after the team misjudged the track improvement during Q2 and did not complete a second run

• Nico used one set of prime tyres and one set of options; he has a free tyre choice for tomorrow’s first stint

• Lewis’ pole position was the team’s sixth in the past seven races of the 2013 season


Lewis Hamilton
“I’m very proud to put the car on pole for Mercedes-Benz today. I have been with Mercedes for a long time and it’s a great result for us to achieve pole here in Germany. I’m a little bit overwhelmed, to be honest, because I have been struggling since first practice this weekend. We were so far off this morning that we took the set-up back to where we started, tried to analyse everything and just worked really hard to improve it. I’m so grateful for the work the engineers and mechanics did for me, and it’s all down to them really. But we don’t get any points for today and the real hard work comes tomorrow. It’s a shame what happened to Nico this afternoon, we got caught out there but hopefully he can still have a strong race.”

Nico Rosberg
“I was really shocked when I saw the times falling in Q2 today and realised that I was in P11. I didn´t see it coming and we just underestimated how much the track would ramp up in terms of grip and lap time. I could have been on the front row today and that´s why I´m so disappointed. It´s been a tough day but sometimes that’s how racing is. I will be doing my best to climb up through the field tomorrow but it won´t be easy.”

Ross Brawn
“It’s a little bit of an understatement to say that we have mixed emotions after qualifying. Lewis put in a superb lap to take pole position. He hasn’t been comfortable with the car since his first run yesterday but I could sense a quiet determination as he went into the session and he absolutely delivered. With Nico, we misjudged how quickly the track was improving and got caught out: he clearly had the pace to qualify at the front today but found himself on the wrong side of the top ten by half a tenth. Ultimately, the final decision on the pit wall rests with me and it’s clear we could have done a better job today. For tomorrow, the only silver lining for Nico is that he has a free tyre choice for the first stint, although unusually there is a real mixture of tyre choices within the top ten as well. Looking at Lewis, we go into the race with some question marks, as we haven’t done any representative running with the set-up we now have on the car. Hopefully, he will find the balance he needs and we will be able to give Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus a run for their money.”

Toto Wolff
“The team is on an upward slope at the moment and we saw that with Lewis taking his second pole position in a row. But I’m super sorry for Nico. We got things wrong in Q2 and not only did he have the pace to fight for pole today but he has also been instrumental in getting the car right since yesterday. We win as a team and we take our setbacks as a team too. Decisions have to be taken and we made the wrong one this time. But tomorrow is another day and hopefully Nico can have a strong race from P11. As for Lewis, everything is open for him. He put in great qualifying laps today after some tough practice sessions. We know that it will be a hard race in the hot conditions, so let’s see what we can achieve.”

III. Sunday's Race Report

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg finished the German Grand Prix in fifth and ninth places today at the Nürburgring.

• After starting from pole, Lewis finished in P5, despite running as low as P10 just 15 laps from the finish

• Lewis claimed P5 with a passing move on Jenson Button in the first sector of the final lap of the race

• He made three pit stops on laps 6, 22 and 45, running option/prime/prime/prime tyres, with the best average pit lane time

• Nico started from P11 on the prime tyre and was running in P16 on lap 49 at the start of his final stint on option tyres

• During the final eleven laps, Nico gained seven positions and ran on the same pace as the leading cars

• Nico’s P9 finish, coupled with 10 points for Lewis, mean the team remains second in the Constructors’ standings


Lewis Hamilton
“That was really a tough race out there for us today. I didn’t have a great start and the Red Bulls were much quicker off the line, dropping me back to third. We really struggled with the second set of tyres which then compromised the rest of my race. It’s a real shame as the team are working so hard and doing such a good job. We’ve clearly got a good car but for some reason, it doesn’t work in these hot conditions. We’ll keep working on it and the positive from today is that we were able to recover to fifth place with a good strategy and great pit stops, and we’re still second in the Constructors’ table. Hopefully we’ll have a better chance at the next race but, for now, there’s a lot of hard work ahead of us.”

Nico Rosberg
“The car didn´t feel so nice to drive today. We struggled a lot with the rear tyres and that´s why we weren´t able to match the pace of the guys in the front. Even so, I had a bit of fun when I changed to the option tyres and could really push to at least score a few points. But we need to understand the new tyres a bit more because it seems that the new construction has shuffled things around, especially in these hot conditions. We have to do a lot of work in the next weeks to make sure we arrive in Hungary in good shape.”

Ross Brawn
“Our first thoughts today go to the cameraman who was struck by an errant wheel in the pit lane. Happily, he does not appear to have suffered serious injuries but it was once again a reminder of the dangers of our sport and underlines the need for constant vigilance in terms of safety. Today was a race of two halves for us. In the first part, we were once again overstressing the tyres - particularly on the prime compound - and our performance fell away as a result. However, as the temperatures cooled off a little and things settled down, both drivers had respectable pace and were able to fight their way back through the field. Lewis and Nico kept pushing until the final lap and were rewarded for their commitment and determination. At one point it didn’t look like we would come away with much at all from this afternoon, so there has to be a certain satisfaction in saving 12 points today. We have said all along that there is still a question mark over our performance in hotter conditions, and today’s race showed that we still have work to do. We have made big steps forward since Bahrain and Barcelona, where we particularly suffered with hotter track temperatures, and our performance was much improved compared to those races. But we have not yet done enough to convert our Saturday pace into race-winning speed in all conditions on Sunday. The three-week break until Hungary will give us an opportunity to think about how we can make further progress on our tyre management as well as continuing to develop the core performance of the car.”

Toto Wolff
“We had a real character-building afternoon here at the Nürburgring. Neither of the drivers could find any grip on the prime tyre in the first part of the race and it mirrored similar experiences we have had so far this season. We managed to recover in the second half, though, and our result was pretty respectable in the end given how things looked after the first 30 laps. Well done to both drivers for squeezing the maximum out of the car today. After such a successful weekend in Silverstone, it feels a little bit like a night and day difference for us. We need to get our heads down at the factory, properly analyse our performance and keep working hard because we know that we will see similar temperatures in Hungary to what we experienced here.”





























































































































































































~ Official photos and reports courtesy of MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS ~

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