2011 Chinese GP team review
A step forward by Mercedes made them the third-fastest team in Shanghai.
|Michael Schumacher||Nico Rosberg|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q2)||1’36.457 (+0.607)||1’35.850|
Mercedes drivers’ lap times throughout the race:
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.
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.
2011 Chinese Grand Prix
- Hamilton: ‘It’s sweeter to win by overtaking’
- 2011 Chinese Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Who was the best driver of the Chinese GP weekend?
- McLaren: Button’s pit mistakes almost cost Hamilton
- Red Bull: Poor qualifying gives strategy advantage to Webber
- Ferrari: Montezemolo demands reaction after poor result
- Mercedes: Rosberg beats Ferraris despite fuel worries
- Renault: Points salvaged after poor qualifying
- Sauber: Two penalties in one race for Perez
- Lotus: Kovalainen joins in midfield battle
Image © Daimler