Schumacher slumps to 11th as Rosberg takes points (Mercedes race review)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Buemi passed Schumacher for eighth place
Buemi passed Schumacher for eighth place

Michael Schumacher’s move on Felipe Massa came under scrutiny after the Canadian Grand Prix – but the stewards rightly concluded the Mercedes driver had done nothing wrong.

The same goes for his early dice with Robert Kubica, although that left him with a puncture which compromised his race.

Meanwhile team mate Nico Rosberg had a quiet run to a points finish, extending the gap between the two Mercedes drivers.

Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg
Qualifying position 13 10
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’16.492 (+0.491) 1’16.001
Race position 11 6
Average race lap 1’22.388 (+1.108) 1’21.279
Laps 69/70 70/70
Pit stops 3 2

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Michael Schumacher

A frustrating weekend for Schumacher began with a poor qualifying session and ended with him being squeezed out of the points on the final lap.

He failed to make it into Q3 having been almost half a second slower than Rosberg in Q2. Schumacher started on the medium tyres, lining up 13th behind both the Williams drivers.

He dodged the first-lap carnage and moved up to eighth place, but also picked up some front wing damage by tagging the rear of Kubica’s Renault. Schumacher rose briefly to third as the drivers in front pitted. A well-timed pit stop brought him out of the pits in front of Kubica, who he had been behind.

Schumacher kept Kubica behind at turn three, both of them taking to the grass at the corner. He came in for some criticism for this on BBC’s broadcast but I saw nothing wrong with it myself and nor, it seems, did Kubica. But he picked up a puncture going off the track and had to make another pit stop.

As Mercedes split their drivers’ strategies it’s hard to compare their lap times, but even when Schumacher was on new mediums from lap 15, he was over a second per lap off Rosberg’s pace on more worn medium tyres.

In retrospect it’s easy to criticise Mercedes’ decision to send him out on a third set of medium tyres as he was inevitably going need another pit stop. With the benefit of hindsight this was an opportunity to get the super-soft stint out of the way.

Instead, Schumacher came back in for his third pit stop of the race on lap 33, embarking on a huge 37-lap stint on the super-soft tyres.

Schumacher’s defensive driving on his badly worn tyres was as ruthless as ever, although Sebastien Buemi made it past cleanly.

Felipe Massa did not, striking the rear of the Mercedes as Schumacher braked early then moved to cover his line for the chicane.

The stewards decided there was nothing wrong with the move – and they were right. The replays clearly showed Schumacher did not make more than the allowed number of moves to defend. He may well have braked earlier than expected but, given the state of his tyres, Massa should have been more circumspect.

However Schumacher probably should have been warned for cutting the final chicane while defending his position from Vitantonio Liuzzi in the closing stages of the race.

Regardless, Liuzzi elbowed him aside halfway around the final lap and Sutil took him at the last corner to grab the final point. A race to forget for the seven-times champion.

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

Nico Rosberg

Started from tenth but was badly delayed by the Massa-Liuzzi crash and slipped to 13th. He binned his super-soft tyres at the end of lap five and thereafter ran a ‘correct’ strategy with two sets of medium tyres.

With Kubica starting on the medium tyres, and tangling with his team mate, Rosberg was promoted to sixth when the Renault driver pitted 11 laps from the end. Although Kubica quickly caught him again, Rosberg still had 1.2 seconds in hand at the finishing line.

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

2010 Canadian Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 Canadian Grand Prix articles