MERCEDES GP PETRONAS drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg finished in ninth and 12th positions respectively in the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit today.
Michael’s ninth place scored the team’s first points of the 2011 season.
“I had a straightforward race today which was even a bit exciting towards the end but really full of ups and downs before. The start was quite good and then it was mainly about managing the tyres. We probably couldn’t have expected to take more than two points today and we certainly have to work on our race pace which is not yet where we want it to be. We are all aware of that and we are more than ready to keep working hard to make the necessary steps forward. Over one lap, we can already be at a good level when the car is working well, but we need to continue to work on our race performance.”
“It was not my race today and it’s been a tough weekend. I had a poor start and lost positions which made it very difficult to try and get into the points. Our race pace was not good enough, and it was very difficult to push, so unfortunately we could not perform at the level that we wanted to here. Looking at my qualifying laps, we can take heart from a small step forward from Melbourne so we will keep the hard work up to make further improvements.”
“The team and drivers did a great job today but obviously we are not fast enough at the moment. We had a couple of stints which proved to be a little too long, as we stayed out to see if the weather might bring an opportunity. That was our decision, and when it didn’t rain as had been predicted, we paid the price with the loss of perhaps a position or two. Overall, the work from the team was strong today with good pit stops and the cars were reliable in very challenging conditions. We will continue to work at it and I look forward to having a more competitive car and being able to mix it where we want to be.”
“After a difficult weekend, the first points are a small reward for all our team members. Of course, we know that there is a lot of work ahead of us, and that we have to improve the speed of our cars by quite a margin. Clearly we are not satisfied but the positive is that we recovered today from very difficult circumstances and I would like to thank everybody for their relentless efforts. Michael drove a good race, gaining three places at the start. We speculated on rain and stretched the first stints of both drivers as long as possible. Nico’s race for points was basically over going into the first corner. If you lose four places with our current technical package, it is difficult to recover. But Nico made some very committed overtaking manoeuvres and his lap times looked better today than they did a fortnight ago, compared to the quickest cars on the same strategy. A lot of work lies ahead of us, but we all are fully motivated to get the job done. We are now looking ahead to next weekend in China and our aim is to improve a further step.”
Source: Daimler AG