by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

Belgian F1 Grand Prix 2012: Race Report - Michael Schumacher 7th, Nico Rosberg 11th

Michael Schumacher finished his 300th Grand Prix in the points today, making up sixth places to finish in seventh position. Nico Rosberg moved up from 23rd on the grid to finish in 11th place.

• Michael ran a two-stop option/prime/option strategy, stopping on laps 19 and 35
• He drove the final few laps of the race without sixth gear, having lost it shortly after his second stop
• Nico also completed two stops, using prime/option/option tyres, and stopping on laps 20 and 36

Michael Schumacher
“I quite enjoyed my 300th race, and it was good fun out there with all the battles. In the end, you have to be realistic, and getting into the points from where I started is not too bad, even if you obviously hope for more when I was second at one stage. But then, it was more than we had expected. It looked pretty reasonable at the start, and we were following our one-stop strategy. In the end though, it did not quite work out so we decided to go for fresh tyres and attack with them. If we had not done that, I might have ended up further back. But then I lost sixth gear and there was no way to attack. We will now have to do that next week in Monza.”

Nico Rosberg
“It’s been an eventful but disappointing weekend for us, and it’s a shame to have finished just one place outside of the points today. Without the gearbox change and penalty, I probably could have scored some decent points this weekend. I had a good start today and moved up ten positions into the midfield. We were running a one-stop-strategy because I needed to take the risk to move up but it didn’t work out and we had to come in again quite late on. Now I’m looking forward to Monza and we will push hard for a better result there next weekend.”

Ross Brawn
“It was a very exciting race for Michael, and a great demonstration of his skills in his 300th Grand Prix. Unfortunately we didn’t quite have a quick enough car today to be pushing for the podium. Michael also had a problem with his gearbox towards the end which prevented him from challenging after his second stop. Nico made a strong effort to get into the points and almost succeeded. However with a lack of dry running, and the car not quite set up as he wanted, that was always going to be tough. We will look ahead now to Monza and keep working hard to improve our performance.”

Norbert Haug
“Two-thirds of the race looked quite promising for Michael who drove a great race on the occasion of his 300th Grand Prix. The plan was to do a one-stop strategy which we then switched to two stops. Michael was in third with 10 laps to go, however the trio behind him were able to go much quicker with fresh tyres than Michael could on his set of primes which were already 26 laps old. He then lost sixth gear, so seventh was the result we could achieve today, and Michael showed some great manoeuvres throughout the race. Nico started 23rd and finished 11th - also for him more was not possible with our current technical package. We now are looking forward to the Italian Grand Prix next week at Monza.”

~ Official photos and report courtesy of MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS ~

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