Rosberg leads Schumacher home again (Chinese GP team-by-team: Mercedes)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Schumacher couldn't keep Vettel behind for long
Schumacher couldn't keep Vettel behind for long

Michael Schumacher continues to struggle on his F1 return after finishing 52 seconds behind his team mate – despite the benefit of a mid-race safety car period.

Nico Rosberg, meanwhile, goes from strength to strength and is now second in the world championship.

Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg
Qualifying position 9 4
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’35.646 (+0.723) 1’34.923
Race position 10 3
Average race lap 1’55.427 (+0.933) 1’54.494
Laps 56/56 56/56
Pit stops 4 2
Chinese Grand Prix lap times: Mercedes
Chinese Grand Prix lap times: Mercedes

Michael Schumacher

Out-qualified by a Renault and almost three-quarters of a second slower than Rosberg.

Schumacher started ninth and, having made the mistake of putting on intermediates tyres on lap two, was one of the first to change back to slicks on lap four.

This got him up to fifth place but, lapping over a second slower than his team mate, who was leading, he fell prey to Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. He put up a firm defence against Hamilton, who took three laps to find a way past, but Vettel slipped by more quickly.

After the second safety car period Schumacher became stuck behind Adrian Sutil and Felipe Massa. An early stop for more intermediate tyres jumped him ahead of them, though he lost a place to Webber at the same time.

As his tyres wore out towards the end of the race Schumacher was passed by Massa and ran wide at the final turn. He claimed the final point for tenth place, but at the rate Sutil was catching him he might well have lost that too if the race had gone on another lap.

Compare Michael Schumacher’s form against his team mate in 2010

Nico Rosberg

Got the maximum out of his car in qualifying and the race and might even have won had he not spun away the lead.

He qualified fourth ahead of both McLarens and inherited the lead by not reacting to the early sprinkling of rain by making a hasty switch to intermediate tyres.

He had just stretched his lead over Jenson Button to its highest – 4.5 seconds – when he skidded off at turn 11 on worn tyres:

When it started raining again, I suffered quite badly from tyre degradation on the intermediates and Jenson was able to get past. We didn’t seem to quite have the pace on inters but third place is great and we’ve made a step in the right direction this weekend.
Nico Rosberg

Had it not been for the second safety car period Rosberg would have been a comfortable second. But third place still gave him enough points to take second in the championship, 40 points ahead of his team mate.

Compare Nico Rosberg’s form against his team mate in 2010