Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg finished in sixth and seventh places today in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
Michael completed a two-stop strategy, running option/prime/prime, and stopping on laps 15 and 37. Nico also stopped twice today, running option/prime/prime, and stopping on laps 14 and 38. Fastest lap for Nico, on the final lap, was the fourth of his career and second of the season. Sixth win in 13 races for Mercedes-Benz power, and third in a row, with four engines in the top ten.
It was a fun race today – although I must admit that, following our performance on Friday, I had secretly hoped we would be able to move up the field. But we had a tricky first stint. After that, everything went really well, we were on the pace and I think we showed a clear upwards trend today. I kind of ran out of laps this afternoon and, if the race had been a bit longer, I’d have been able to battle even further forward. Overall, though, we got everything out of it today. Now we need to keep this trend going – and everybody in the team is working hard on it.
Seventh place is an improvement on my recent finishes so I’m satisfied with that today, although there may have been potential for more. I had no grip on my option tyres in the first stint, which were the same set that gave me problems in Q3. After the first stop, I had very good pace and was able to set a few fastest race laps and move up the field with some nice overtakes. It’s nice to have had a better finish to a race weekend and I’m looking forward to more of the same in Singapore in a couple of weeks.
Both our drivers put in strong, aggressive and controlled performances today. We knew that a one-stop strategy was not feasible for us this afternoon, so we went into the race planning to make two stops and knew the drivers would have to race hard to make it work against other cars who were one-stopping. The disappointment today was that both drivers really struggled on their first set of tyres – perhaps because of how we used them in qualifying, running more than one timed lap in Q3, or perhaps another factor, which is something we will have to analyse. We lost all our time in this phase of the race but, thereafter, the performance of both cars looked good. Nico’s fastest lap shows that our level of performance today was reasonable and both he and Michael were consistently among the fastest in the second half of the race. Sixth and seventh places are far from perfect but we can be positive about an exciting race, running the right strategy for our current situation and two great drives from Michael and Nico.
Fighting drives from Michael and Nico this afternoon with lots of nice overtaking moves. We didn’t have great pace in the opening stint, running the option tyres we had used in qualifying like everybody in the top ten, but it looked much better after the first stops. Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton and McLaren Mercedes on three wins in a row – two for Lewis, one for Jenson Button. Our Mercedes engine has taken six wins from 13 races this season, including one for our Silver Arrows team in China. After scoring the most points of any engine in 2009, 2010 and 2011, this confirms the Mercedes V8 as the most successful power plant so far in 2012 as well.
Source: Mercedes AMG