Mercedes: Rosberg beats Ferraris despite fuel worries

2011 Chinese GP team review

A step forward by Mercedes made them the third-fastest team in Shanghai.

Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg
Qualifying position 14 4
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’36.457 (+0.607) 1’35.850
Race position 8 5
Laps 56/56 56/56
Pit stops 3 3

Mercedes drivers’ lap times throughout the race:

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56
Michael Schumacher 111.637 106.229 105.643 105.577 105.775 105.449 104.755 105.558 105.197 109.461 120.226 104.006 103.327 103.518 104.352 103.928 105.576 103.487 103.665 103.365 103.256 103.442 104.184 103.691 104.576 108.333 120.509 101.599 103.03 103.897 102.857 102.914 102.341 102.534 101.373 101.639 102.023 103.233 106.676 120.018 102.053 101.488 101.281 101.614 101.269 101.215 101.306 101.304 101.721 102.596 101.471 101.754 101.391 102.015 101.673 102.245
Nico Rosberg 108.84 105.061 104.837 104.501 104.666 104.194 104.276 104.262 104.676 105.316 105.635 108.939 119.877 103.029 103.512 103.347 103.21 103.254 103.013 102.808 102.6 102.949 102.946 102.948 107.627 120.139 101.548 102.26 101.812 101.626 101.615 101.455 101.42 101.472 101.209 101.602 101.922 102.291 106.047 118.543 101.166 103.445 101.297 101.932 103.261 102.611 101.822 101.974 101.999 103.465 101.429 102.052 101.888 104.088 102.569 105.392

Michael Schumacher

Schumacher continued to have problems with his Drag Reduction System – particularly the delay in the flow re-attaching when it moves from open to closed.

Ross Brawn intends to solve the problem with an upgrade at the Turkish Grand Prix but in China it kept Schumacher from progressing beyond Q2.

He lined up ten places behind his team mate but made an excellent start – out-dragging the two Saubers and using the outside line at turn one to gain a total of five places.

An aggressive strategy saw him make his first pit stop on lap ten. He put in a series of fast laps to briefly move up to sixth place, in front of Fernando Alonso.

This was their first of two battles during the race and Alonso got past at turn 14 after eight laps of trying.

Schumacher was passed by Webber later on and his third pit stop allowed Alonso back through again. He ended the race pressuring Alonso, less than half a second behind the Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher 2011 form guide

Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Shanghai, 2011

Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Shanghai, 2011

Nico Rosberg

Rosberg declared himself pleased with the team’s progress after beating both Ferraris in qualifying to take fourth on the grid – his best starting position since the same race last year.

He nearly took third off Sebastian Vettel at the start but was firmly rebuffed. Like his team mate he pitted early, which promoted him to the lead for 14 laps.

Third after his last pit stop, he struggled to defend his position as the team warned him to conserve fuel. Ross Brawn admitted afterwards this cost Rosberg a podium finish:

“We need to look into why we suffered so much higher fuel consumption in the race than we had experienced in practice, even allowing for the changes in conditions and grip. There was clearly a problem and it’s very frustrating for Nico and the team.”

First Lewis Hamilton passed him, then Rosberg ran wide at turn 14 allowing Felipe Massa and Jenson Button through.

Rosberg recovered his place with a smart pass on Massa at turn 16. But Mark Webber soon charged past to demote him back to fifth.

Nico Rosberg 2011 form guide

2011 Chinese Grand Prix

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41 comments on Mercedes: Rosberg beats Ferraris despite fuel worries

  1. Byron R said on 19th April 2011, 3:29

    Merecedes are supposed to be bringing a new rear wing to Turkey that will resolve their DRS issues.

    Glad to see some good strategy calls from Merc this time, but I think it was a little enhanced by McLaren’s strategy used to hamper Vettel.

    Loved the aggressive driving from Schumi, keep it up.

  2. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 19th April 2011, 8:23

    Well, finally they got most things working together, apart from fuel, and showed what the car can do. I wonder if MSC’s fights with Alonso is part of why they were so far behind those ahead, as it took quite a few laps. Regardless, they even managed to have their tyres not go off a cliff sooner than others it seems. With that DRS fixing in Turkey, will be interesting to see what they can do (if it keeps all working, that is).

    MSC does still seem to need to work harder in qualifying – even if he again had issues, he keeps being in a position where the slightest issue means he doesn’t do well. Since he seems to encounter a lot of problems, it’s high time he starts expecting them and working with them as best he can, instead of having them take him by surprise time and again.

  3. abscrazyfast said on 20th April 2011, 21:21

    So, none of you super armchair F1 experts that are beating up on Schumacher for being slow through the race noted that he was in battles for position pretty much throughout the race, unlike Nico who was leading for a good number of laps, and running in clean air?

    And maybe a few of you would also know that fighing for position definitely slows you down? Or maybe not.

    Don’t let facts get in the way of your retarded hating though. Geez.

  4. Mercy said on 22nd April 2011, 23:30

    We musn’t forget who Alonso recently said he fears most with a good car. It wasn’t Vettel, Hamilton, Button, Webber, nor Rosberg, but MSC. That should tell you something.

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