Mercedes: Rosberg wanted Schumacher to let him pass

2011 Spanish GP team review

Nico Rosberg spent much of the Spanish Grand Prix stuck behind his team mate.

According to reports after the race, Rosberg even urged his team to tell Michael Schumacher to let him pass.

They didn’t, and Rosberg ended the race in Schumacher’s wheel tracks.

Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg
Qualifying position 10 7
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’22.671 (+0.102) 1’22.569
Race position 6 7
Laps 65/66 65/66
Pit stops 3 3

Mercedes drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

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 57 58 59 60 61
Michael Schumacher 98.633 92.839 92.136 92.005 91.738 91.711 91.903 91.809 91.849 94.99 107.184 91.62 91.663 91.267 92.941 91.501 91.25 91.167 90.774 91.274 91.23 91.61 91.139 91.669 92.32 93.631 107.167 90.838 90.804 90.428 90.573 90.241 90.058 89.463 90.197 90.717 90.428 89.923 91.798 90.965 92.641 107.165 89.572 89.818 90.228 90.367 91.74 90.98 89.821 90.272 90.616 90.021 89.953 92.203 90.225 90.065 89.804 90.236 90.661 89.672 89.848
Nico Rosberg 99.139 92.784 92.187 92.434 91.597 91.71 91.829 91.93 91.869 92.404 95.52 108.494 92.882 90.624 91.393 90.355 90.745 90.742 91.017 91.016 91.467 91.839 91.187 91.734 92.333 92.891 95.206 106.678 91.725 89.596 89.705 89.958 89.671 89.155 89.323 89.622 90.433 90.361 91.21 91.556 90.501 92.936 107.254 89.608 89.763 92.848 90.12 89.839 89.797 90.123 90.297 90.591 89.887 92.91 90.652 89.67 89.417 90.549 89.817 89.564 89.923
Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Barcelona, 2011

Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Barcelona, 2011

Michael Schumacher

Schumacher’s KERS failed during Q3 so the team limited the damage by sending him out on hard tyres as a precaution. He didn’t set a time anyway and started tenth.

He took advantage of Vitaly Petrov edging Rosberg onto the grass at turn three to get ahead of his team mate and stayed there.

He came in one lap before Rosberg at all three pit stops, which gave him the benefit of fresher tyres each time, allowing him to stay ahead.

Michael Schumacher 2011 form guide

Nico Rosberg

Rosberg spent almost all of the race stuck behind Schumacher, hampered by faults with his radio and DRS.

Towards the end of the race he had Nick Heidfeld bearing down on him – the trio were covered by 1.3 seconds at the line.

Nico Rosberg 2011 form guide

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

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Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Barcelona, 2011

Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Barcelona, 2011

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56 comments on Mercedes: Rosberg wanted Schumacher to let him pass

  1. W-K said on 24th May 2011, 11:25

    Ummm! Slightly Confused.

    All these schumi fans saying isn’t it so good he could stop a faster driver overtaking. I thought the idea of the DRS was to get rid of this. OK Rosberg’s DRS was faulty, but in the interests of the team wouldn’t it have been better to let Rosberg past so that he could try to catch the next car up the road, because it was clear Schumi couldn’t.

    Rosberg was stuck behind Schumi from at least lap 22, he would only have needed to go approx 0.2s/lap faster to catch Alonso, and I think he was faster than that.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 24th May 2011, 12:27

      Then they should have done the same at Japan last year.

      • TheBrav3 said on 24th May 2011, 14:27

        Rosberg was stuck behind schu from lap 2 onwards and it was his own fault for failing to get even a poor start. If he had a bad start he would have still been ahead of his team m8 who started 3 positions behind him on the dirty side of the grid. But he didn’t get a bad start he got a terrible start like he always does and schu taught him a lesson.

        • Robbie said on 24th May 2011, 14:48

          Actually, NR started just as well as MS but got balked by a Renault after turn 1 which is what allowed MS to get by him…clearly NR had no trouble reeling MS in every time they pitted and/or other traffic cleared out, so if it hadn’t been for NR getting held up in the beginning he likely would have stayed ahead of MS and been faster than him all day, and in hindsight he might have had a shot at FA had he been unencumbered by the Renault from the getgo.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 24th May 2011, 16:36

            Rosberg started 3 places ahead of Schumacher, biut going into turn 1, Schumacher was 1 place behind. Then Petrov (who had a poor Sunday), came into the equation and blocked Rosberg.

          • TheBrav3 said on 24th May 2011, 20:03

            Generally the start is defined as the period of the race that takes place after the lights go out and before the cars have all got onto the racing line.

            Nico rosberg was shown the grass by michael alongside him (which by the way how was he alongside nico if they had identical starts up untill this point?) and petrov infront of him regardless of the if who where what why and but it translates the same. Nico started ahead and finished the lap behind…he got a bad start.

            Also if you take a look at the race start again you’ll see only nico rosbergs front wing on msc’s on car camera. He was already behind michael before petrovs line adjustment.

    • Martyn said on 25th May 2011, 10:14

      W-K: DRS is supposed (rightly or wrongly) to address the disappointing situation in which a much faster car/driver has extremely little chance to overtake a leading car, no matter how skillful his attempts may be – e.g. Abu Dhabi and Bahrain last year.

      If there is minimal opportunity to pass a competitive car on track, it isn’t really “racing”. However, nor is it racing when a faster car/driver inevitably overtakes a slower car within a few laps, due to its being trivially easy – if DRS were to bring about that situation (arguably it, in combination with the Pirelli tyres, did so in Turkey) then it would be a total failure and the “races” would be equally as boring as a procession.

      Slower cars holding up faster cars is the essential ingredient of motor racing that differentiates it from time trialling!

      But don’t worry, the BBC commentators also made the same misguided comments in Australia and Spain, where (imo) the DRS zones were calibrated perfectly well for exciting racing.

  2. Sukoco said on 24th May 2011, 12:04

    Form 1st stint rosberg already stuck behind Schu train.. if he can go faster easily can past Scu when pitstop.. He have 3 stop to leap frog but he cant.. look at button

    simply rosberg not fast enough.. petrov n massa simply going worse

    n like alonso, Schu get better drive at start .. Are Alonso must let pass Vettel?

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