F1 Istanbul 2011 - SUN - Race - A tough race for Nico and Michael
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
Istanbul, Turkey, May 08, 2011
MERCEDES GP PETRONAS drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher finished the Turkish Grand Prix in fifth and twelfth places respectively today. Started from third on the grid, Nico ran a clean race to finish fifth, with high tyre degradation in the early stages preventing him from finishing higher. Michael started strongly and was running seventh when a collision with Vitaly Petrov at turn 12 damaged his front wing and forced him to pit. He was then out of sequence and fought hard from last place on lap three to finish in 12th position.
• Nico completed four stops on laps 10, 22, 33 and 44. His tyre strategy was: option; prime; prime; option; option.
• Michael completed four stops on laps 2, 14, 30 and 45. His tyre strategy was: option; option; prime; option; option.
• In his final stint, Michael re-used the set of options on which he had started the race.
“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. 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.”
“A lot of fighting and action today, and that was probably the positive part of my race. 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.”
“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. 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.”
“Of course, everybody was expecting another good result from us today after Nico qualified third yesterday. In reality he was a few thousandths ahead of Lewis yesterday, and today Lewis was quicker. Alonso in the Ferrari had a great drive from fifth whilst the Red Bulls are still clearly in front. To beat one McLaren Mercedes and one Ferrari was the maximum that Nico could achieve after a great drive with our current car. We have made improvements over the last two races, and closed the gap to the best which shows that we are heading in the right direction. Michael had an eventful weekend and was very committed from lap one in the wet practice of Friday. His clash with another car dictated the outcome of his race and cost him the time missing to finish in the points. We now look forward to Barcelona where we will try to improve our position further.”
* Official photos and report courtesy of MERCEDES GP PETRONAS *
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