Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton finished the Spanish Grand Prix in sixth and 12th places today.
Nico salvaged a sixth-place finish after starting from pole running an option/prime/prime/prime three-stop strategy. Lewis was forced to convert to a four-stop strategy during the race and finished outside the points in twelfth position. During his five race stints this afternoon, Lewis used option/prime/prime/option/prime tyres.
I had a very tough race this afternoon. The start was good and I managed my first stint well to keep some of the quicker cars behind me. From there, I had to drive my own race and we began to go backwards as it made no sense to destroy my tyres by trying to stay ahead. We didn’t have the pace of the quickest cars today and there’s a growing gap to three teams ahead of us which we need to get on top of. We have a very quick car but we have to make it work for us in the race.
A difficult afternoon today and going backwards is never fun. We switched to a four-stop strategy during the race but I suffered with a lack of grip and balance throughout and we were never really able to get the tyres working. I know that everyone at the team is working so hard and we need to keep positive. I’m sure we will figure the problem out and we’ve got to keep pushing together to close the gap. I will be doing my best to help and encourage the guys.
We endured a very difficult afternoon and the comparison between our competitiveness in qualifying and in the race was particularly disappointing. Nico did an excellent job managing the tyres to make just three stops and his level of performance showed what our car is currently capable of on tracks like this. Lewis didn’t have a good balance at any point and that simply made a critical situation worse, which forced him to convert to a four-stop strategy midway through the race. We must find the key to why we are losing performance on Sunday afternoon and find the right solutions to improve.
Today’s race showed a similar pattern to what we have seen with our team in recent seasons: we have a quick car but it works the tyres too hard. The drivers experienced the reverse situation to what happened in Bahrain: Nico drove a very controlled race and was able to make a three-stop strategy work, while Lewis was forced to stop four times because he simply didn’t have enough grip at any point through the race and the car was sliding around. It is very clear that we have not yet found the right compromise between our performance on Saturday and Sunday and that we will need a lot of hard work to get it right.
Source: Mercedes AMG