Bahrain GP: Race notes - Mercedes


Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher both scored points in the Bahrain Grand Prix today as the Mercedes pair finished the 57-lap race in fifth and tenth places respectively.

Nico had a hard-fought race, running in P9 through the opening stint, then gaining places as the race unfolded. He completed three stops on laps 8, 22 and 36 running an option/option/prime/prime tyre strategy. Starting from P22, Michael climbed 12 positions through the field over the course of the race to finish in P10. Michael made three stops on laps 9, 23 and 37, also running an option/option/prime/prime strategy. The team averaged 22.216 seconds in the pit lane over six pit stops, with Michael the day's fastest three-stopper.

Nico Rosberg: "I had a pretty bad first lap today, but after that I was able to recover and get the most of our race. We had a good strategy and the pace of the car was pretty strong compared to the start of the season, although it was difficult to make progress as there were a lot of cars fighting for the same positions. Overall I'm happy with our weekend as fifth place gives me a few more points and I can see that we are making progress. Now we have a short break where we can work hard in the factory ready for the start of the European season. Before that, I'm looking forward to visiting the DTM opening race in Hockenheim next Saturday. It's my first chance to return to Germany after two good weekends, particularly of course the win in China, and I look forward to celebrating that together with our fans."

Michael Schumacher: "Considering where I started the race today, it's a positive that I was able to fight up to 10th place, score a point and finish a dry race this season. The tyres obviously played a large part in the race today, and in the conditions here, we had to adapt the driving style to keep the tyres together. It will be good to have the time now before Barcelona to sort out some issues and prepare our updates for the test days in Mugello. Next weekend, the DTM starts in Hockenheim and I am looking forward to my first visit to a DTM race for twenty years."

Ross Brawn: "That was a tough but ultimately rewarding race today. Nico didn't get the best of starts and lost some positions which made the early part of the race difficult, but he had a very good drive to fight his way back up to fifth place. Michael did well to recover a point in 10th place, considering that he started at the back of the grid in 22nd. We saw again today that if you get the car right on the day, it makes a great deal of difference, with Red Bull and Lotus clearly getting their cars in better shape than we did. We will learn more lessons from today, however we made the best of what we had so I'm reasonably happy. Now we can look forward to some time back at the factory to improve the car before the next race."

Norbert Haug: "Having started fifth, Nico was running in ninth by the end of lap one. More than to recover to fifth place was not possible afterwards. Following Nico's victory in China, we handled the tyres quite well on this track in hotter temperatures, and we showed that we have a good base to work from. Michael came home in 10th place after starting in 22nd, which is a good result considering the extremely high level of competition this year. We are now looking forward to the next race in Barcelona where Mercedes will, like most of the teams, introduce upgrades which will be evaluated during the Mugello test."

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Published: 22/04/2012
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