Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher finished the Monaco Grand Prix in seventh and twelfth places respectively today following an action-packed race around the Monte Carlo streets.
With Nico starting from sixth and Michael from seventh place on the grid, both drivers lost a position to Rubens Barrichello at the start which compromised their pace in the early part of the race. Michael made his pit stop on lap 19 with excellent work by the team’s pit crew enabling him to jump ahead of Rubens who pitted at the same time. Nico stayed out, taking advantage of a gap in the traffic to put in some flying laps, and made his stop on lap 28 to rejoin just behind his team-mate. Michael crossed the finish line in sixth place after overtaking Fernando Alonso on the final lap of the race when the team believed that the track had gone green and racing had resumed after the fourth and final safety car period. Michael subsequently received a 20 second time penalty from the stewards after the race which the team is now appealing.
“My race today would have been pretty normal without the decision of the stewards afterwards. The start was interesting and it actually went according to plan. I managed to have a good pull-away but then I was a bit stuck and was caught by Rubens. So I had to wait for the opportunity to overtake and the team played it brilliantly. The crew was fantastic and thus the pit stop got me in front of him. The result in the very end, which put me back to twelfth place for now, was obviously disappointing for me and I can fully understand that we are appealing the decision. Our understanding was that the ‘safety car in, track clear’ message meant we were back to racing conditions, so I went for it and overtook Fernando.”
“My expectations for this weekend were very high and therefore I am disappointed that we could only achieve seventh place. We had the speed for a front row position in qualifying and that should have given us the opportunity for a podium finish. In the race, I was able to manage my tyres well and put in quick laps once the cars ahead of me pitted and the track was clear. That was important for me to show that we were competitive here. I would like to say a big thank you to my team for their hard work this weekend and for preparing the best car of the season so far. It was crucial to get points and we will keep positive and look ahead to the next races.”
“For parts of the race today, we were able to demonstrate the potential of the car here which was very frustrating considering what happened in qualifying. Losing a place to Rubens at the start with both drivers made it very difficult for us and we couldn’t run at our full pace which is the usual problem around Monaco where overtaking is so difficult. Thereafter Michael and Nico drove very well this afternoon. Nico was particularly impressive with a clear track and was the fastest car out there at that time. However the windows didn’t quite open for us today. It shows the subtlety of Monaco, you can have a fast car but if it’s not in the right place, then you can’t do anything with it. I would like to compliment our team on the fastest pit stop of the race which was crucial to get Michael out ahead of Rubens.
“With regard to the penalty given to Michael, we believed that the track had gone green and the race was not finishing under a safety car when article 40.13 clearly would have applied. The reason for the safety car had been removed, the FIA had announced ‘Safety Car in this lap’ early on lap 78 and the track had been declared clear by race control. This was further endorsed when the marshals showed green flags and lights after safety car line one. On previous occasions when it has been necessary to complete a race under a safety car, full course yellows are maintained, as in Melbourne 2009. On the last lap, we therefore advised our drivers that they should race to the line and Michael made his move on Fernando for sixth place. We have appealed the decision of the stewards.”
“To start with the positives, we showed good speed here in Monaco, our best of the season so far, and hopefully we can take this forward into the next races. It was therefore bad that we had traffic problems during Q3 yesterday in addition to some self-inflicted issues. Today we suffered when Michael and Nico got stuck behind a slower car. Once Nico and Michael were in clean air, they showed good pace. Now we will concentrate on the next race in Turkey and hopefully we can develop a performance in Istanbul in two weeks time that will be as competitive as we could have been here in Monaco.”
Source: Mercedes GP