Mercedes pass Renault in the championship

2011 British GP team review

A double points finish at Silverstone put Mercedes in front of Renault in the championship.

Mercedes introduced a new exhaust package and had a few problems with it in practice, dousing the back of Nico Rosberg’s car with fire extinguisher foam at one stage.

Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg
Qualifying position 13 9
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’32.656 (+0.361) 1’32.295
Race position 9 6
Laps 52/52 52/52
Pit stops 2 2

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
Michael Schumacher 122.353 114.523 114.23 113.74 113.573 112.871 112.961 112.661 120.764 135.4 109.012 107.844 105.788 104.491 103.475 99.067 127.302 101.199 101.44 101.311 100.646 100.324 99.75 99.47 99.191 98.826 100.224 99.213 99.162 99.315 95.755 116.292 97.499 97.034 97.823 97.158 97.294 97.406 97.266 97.275 97.67 97.369 97.433 97.641 97.521 97.578 97.929 98.195 98.491 99.333 99.316 99.704
Nico Rosberg 124.247 115.65 115.107 115.158 114.936 113.829 113.214 112.444 113.571 112.366 112.311 108.646 127.325 104.861 103.505 102.885 102.083 101.176 100.898 100.78 100.676 100.194 101.18 99.907 99.522 99.011 99.745 99.287 98.764 96.719 116.531 97.073 97.624 97.494 97.541 97.472 97.244 97.359 97.323 97.345 97.101 97.357 97.497 97.918 97.936 97.931 98.419 98.141 98.021 100.165 98.873 99.499

Michael Schumacher

Schumacher was delayed by a gearbox problem in final practice. In qualifying he missed out on the top ten for the fourth time this year:

“Owing to the uncertain weather situation, and in order to not risk driving in the rain, we went out rather early, which simply turned out to be too early.

“On my last lap, the tyres were unfortunately already gone and, especially in turn six, I suffered understeer which cost me the time to make it into the top ten.”

Not for the first time this year, Schumacher started well, gaining four places to run ninth. But he ran into Kamui Kobayashi while trying to use DRS to pass the Sauber.

He admitted the collision was “my fault”, saying: “Having used DRS for the first time in the race, I was arriving at the corner with over-run. Underestimating the effect, my braking was not good and this is how the collision happened.

“It was right to get a penalty but why it had to be a stop-go, and not a drive-through penalty, I would like to understand better as I felt it was too hard.”

Stop-go penalties were used in place of drive-throughs at Silverstone because the time lost coming into the new pit lane was so low. Drivers were gaining around a second over their usual lap times on in-laps.

Schumacher took the opportunity to switch to soft tyres, which turned out to be perfectly-timed and the other drivers soon followed his lead. This helped him take back some of the time lost.

He passed Jaime Alguersuari at Stowe on lap 33 for what turned out to be ninth place.

Michael Schumacher 2011 form guide

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2011

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2011

Nico Rosberg

Like Lewis Hamilton, Rosberg started Q3 on a used set of option tyres with a view to using a new set for his final run.

But that plan was scuppered by fresh rainfall – Rosberg pressed on and caught a lurid slide at the exit of Chapel but was forced to abort his run, starting ninth.

He got off the line well but was passed by Lewis Hamilton on the outside of Village and lost further places to his team mate and Adrian Sutil.

Rosberg was the highest-running driver to commit to a two-stop strategy and made it work well, finishing “best of the rest” in sixth place.

Nico Rosberg 2011 form guide

2011 British Grand Prix

Browse all 2011 British Grand Prix articles

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45 comments on Mercedes pass Renault in the championship

  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th July 2011, 12:41

    Is the season turning aroung for Mercedes? Or was it a fortunat race.

    Good for Mercedes, that Renault seems to have slumped lately.

    • Valentino said on 11th July 2011, 12:44

      Yup, Renault lost a lot in the last race. Is it the “rule changes”, we’ll see in the next race.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 11th July 2011, 16:30

      Or was it a fortunate race.

      Actually, I thought this race was normal. Sure, Schumacher once again crashed and had to blame himself for it, and the points were very lucky for him, and Rosberg kept running ahead of the “rest”, but Schumacher’s good tyre strategy should have provided a better result.

  2. M.M.C (@mmc) said on 11th July 2011, 12:44

    It was only a matter of time before Mercedes beat Renault in the CC, seeing as since China, they’ve become disappointingly slow.

  3. bananarama said on 11th July 2011, 12:45

    It is more of a feeling rather than a fact but .. I think Schumacher is slowly picking up the pace in the races. Even without his magnificent Canada performance it looks like his race pace is stronger or at least on par with his teammates. So if he can finally squeeze out some good qualifying he should get his results. He could ask his good pal Vettel how to do it …

    • Patrickl said on 11th July 2011, 13:05

      That magnificent Canada performance lasted only 15 laps or so. Don’t you think it was more down to his car setup working specifically well for the drying track rather than that Schumacher had anything to do with it?

      • Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 11th July 2011, 13:22

        Yes, you could argue that. But given how Webber couldn’t pull away with a Red Bull after passing MSC with the DRS, i tend to give his driving more credit than his set-up on that occasion.

      • bananarama said on 11th July 2011, 14:36

        Sure his car was good in that moment. Like Jensons car was good. Like Sennas Toleman was good in Monaco because the naturally aspirated engines power was much better to control on the wet track. I’m not trying to compare, just make the point that you always need a good car to shine and Schumacher did just that in Canada. And as I said, even without that performance I have a feeling Schumacher has picked up the pace and drives faster in the races lately than his teammate.

      • Mgn said on 11th July 2011, 22:41

        The rainmaster part played it as well

    • Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 11th July 2011, 13:33

      Me too, can’t decide if he’s a feeling more than a fact.
      If you look at the race pace He was a great deal faster than Nico in Sepang, Montreal, Monaco (He overtook Nico on track) and yesterday. They were closely matched at Montmelo. Rest of the times he was beaten, sometimes quite hard like in Turkey and China.

      Regardless, this year the comparison in races stands. Last year you couldn’t pretty much get started.

      That’s right, he needs to improve his game in QLF (signs of that since Monaco) and most of all, stop making these I’m-not-used-racing-in-the-midfield mistakes.

      • TheBrav3 said on 11th July 2011, 14:56

        schu drove a stormer he was ahead of rosberg on the first lap pitted with a broken front wing and got back ahead of him. Then after a stop and go penalty got back into the points.

        I think if i was rosberg i’d be wondering how on earth that happened considering he drove such a non event race, If it wern’t for the penalty schu would have finished at least 6th and rosberg 7th. especialy at the start of the race rosberg seemed to be driving a camel in mercedes drag.

        I don’t think it’s a turning point for mercedes i do think schu out paced rosberg all weekend except for qualifying though.

  4. mike77 (@mike77) said on 11th July 2011, 12:49

    I thought MSC did quite well to recover thee situation – considering he had a broken front wing and a stop-go, which put him towards the rear of the field, I thought it was a good performance to finish 9th, and he could even have finished 8th.

    • Damon (@damon) said on 11th July 2011, 15:23

      It was a brilliant performance by Michael!
      He started 13th, had a 10sec penalty, yet finished 9th.

      And his overtaking moves were brilliant. Especially the one on Petrov (?) at the former first corner of the race track, where he drove on the wet inside.

  5. Todfod (@todfod) said on 11th July 2011, 12:50

    He admitted the collision was “my fault”, saying: “Having used DRS for the first time in the race, I was arriving at the corner with over-run. Underestimating the effect, my braking was not good and this is how the collision happened.

    After the Valencia GP, I got a lot of flak for accusing Schumacher of driving like a rookie. This weekend Schumacher’s driving pretty much proved me right.

    • Icemangrins said on 11th July 2011, 13:12

      I remember giving you a hard time two weeks back. I have nothing else to say this weekend for sure. You made your point.:-)

    • DVC said on 11th July 2011, 13:50

      You could see him lose the back end in that collision, which is entirely understandable on a damp track using DRS for the first time.

      I disagree with MSC and the Stewards, I don’t think it should have been a penalty. The fact Coulthard also thought it shouldn’t be a penalty is probably proof enough, but I’ll outline my reasons.

      The move might have been ambitious but he left enough room to pull up, it was the half lose that resulted in an accident. This amounts to a misjudgement of the conditions, not recklessness in attempting a pass that isn’t on and could only result in an accident if the other driver didn’t yield. The latter is what the penalty is supposed to be applied for, the former is a racing incident.

      • snowman said on 11th July 2011, 14:00

        I agree DVC, it seems these penalties have gotten out of control. Like Villenuve said last week it would be better if they just gave penalties for drivers doing something that’s clearly stupid and dangerous rather than nearly every pass that goes wrong.

        They keep doing these penaltys it will end up we will just have really boring extra safe DRS passes all the time.

      • Robbie said on 11th July 2011, 14:26

        I thought DC said it was all MS, whereas it was MB that thought it should be deemed a racing incident ‘given the conditions’…

        Either way, MS didn’t keep control of his car, and let’s not forget there was another car involved that was an innocent bystander.

        That said, for sure MS didn’t do this on purpose.

        DC also cited that there have been similar penalties this year and therefore the stewards were being consistant…something that imho can change at the drop of a hat, knowing the FIA who are far from being known for their consistancy.

        • TheBrav3 said on 11th July 2011, 15:01

          was it consistant not giving hamilton a penalty for the exact same manouver?

        • bananarama said on 11th July 2011, 15:03

          They appear to be somewhat consistent, but for my taste consistently wrong. Its motorracing, things happen. I don’t want drivers deliberately bumping into eachother like Hamiltons and DiRestas, but sometimes stuff just happens. Back in the day we called them racing incidents.

          • Robbie said on 11th July 2011, 15:21

            Agree with the consistantly inconsistant, or consistantly wrong comment…let’s face it, back in the day MS whacked JV in Jerez 97 and that after being warned by Max of a 3 race ban at the beginning of the 98 season for any funny business, got instead exclusion from his second place standing in the Championship for 97 but got to keep his poles and wins ie. a meaningless penalty even after a penalty had been stated ahead of the race…ie. Kangaroo Court consistancy…that in a season that saw JV banned for one race for a yellow flag infraction.

        • Alfie said on 11th July 2011, 20:26

          They bring in DRS to aid overtaking and improve the show yet every time a driver actually hits something, they have to hit the pitlane aswell! They’re gonna stop taking such risky moves and wait for the DRS zone..lap..after lap..

          Of course one bright spark will figure this out and drop behind his pursuer just before the detection zone, then the next lap it will be the opposite, until they almost stop there and caue a pile up :)

        • DVC said on 12th July 2011, 0:24

          DC said it was all MSC’s fault, but agreed that it shouldn’t be a penalty.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 12th July 2011, 3:54

          I’d watch what DC says about Schumacher… He doesn’t seem awfully fair at times.

          • DVC said on 12th July 2011, 9:28

            Which was why it was worth noting that he thought he didn’t deserve a penalty.

  6. Eggry (@eggry) said on 11th July 2011, 12:51

    I hope they are improving. I don’t know how Nico is but Schumacher is definitely improving. for sure they are really looking forward German GP. I love that three pointed-start on the top of grand stand.

    • Icemangrins said on 11th July 2011, 13:49

      Let’s hope they qualify better. There is no point for MSC to show a good race pace in P13 or P14.

      • Eggry (@eggry) said on 11th July 2011, 14:51

        all after crash and stop-go penalty, 9th is failry good result.

        • Icemangrins said on 11th July 2011, 16:16

          Oh yeah, I agree. Given the benefit of the hindsight, Schumi would have finished well ahead of Nico in yesterday’s race. But qualifying in the lowly position is really hurting his progression during the race. He ends up racing with Kamui, Jamie & Vitaly & **** happens. He was on a roll yesterday with the right tire calls… such a shame.

  7. DVC said on 11th July 2011, 13:52

    Schumacher’s in laps when compared to Rosberg’s are very impressive.

  8. snowman said on 11th July 2011, 13:54

    Thought the penalty was overly harsh but I guess Schumi racing in Britain was never going to go good for him if anything ended up in the stewards discussions.

    He’s starting to look better and if Mercedes could just give him a super front wing that can’t be damaged now he would be flying!

  9. Electrolite said on 11th July 2011, 13:54

    It’s an improvement, but still not impressive. One of my favourite teams, but sadly, a midfield team by now. I can’t kid myself any longer. It’s mainly the qualifying in my eyes, and then whenever they qualify well, they don’t have the race pace. Like Turkey for example.

    Schumacher however, for me, has impressed me more than Rosberg this year. I just hope next year they can live up to their expectations as i’ve been bitterly disappointed by the initially promising and impressive looking W02.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 12th July 2011, 13:46

      I had really high hopes for them this year but they’re failing to deliver. Rosberg had a podium in Silverstone last year and one before that at least.

      I really want them to do well. For a manufacturer team with the best engine, their own engine, it just seems bizarre they can’t sort it out!

  10. our_nige said on 11th July 2011, 14:09

    I am not by any means a Schumacher fan (i was a big rosberg fan in the Williams days) but i think the old boy has had the edge on Nico this year in terms of race pace but all that means nothing if he can’t go 30 laps without hitting something, and the points reflect that.

    • TheBrav3 said on 11th July 2011, 15:04

      Sadly true, ross brawn apparently said in jest maybe they should get schu to pay for his front wings. Either way if he can get through a race with out contact he’ll do well. I can’t blame him though at least he trys.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 12th July 2011, 4:01

      I don’t think Schumacher likes the front wings.

      I don’t think penalties should be given out for driver errors…. But as they are, I think it’s a fair call.

  11. Nin13 (@) said on 11th July 2011, 14:53

    I think if he had not ran into Kobayshi, Schumacher could have finished ahead of Rosberg, like 5th or 6th, his race pace was very good.

  12. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 12th July 2011, 3:00

    At time I thought that the penalty on Schumacher was harsh.Nico once again racing under the radar, it seems like I didn’t noticed he finished 6th until IO saw the result at the end of the race.

  13. Robbie said on 12th July 2011, 4:56

    I guess the stewards had their reasons…anybody know what they are? I’ll assume it has something to do with causing an avoidable collision…for sure it was just a driver error, yet it involved running into another car, and I guess the way MS overcooked it and lost control of his vehicle differentiates this incident from let’s say two cars banging wheels in a fight for real estate ie. MS’s was not a racing incident in that sense…it was not a pass attempt, but a rear ender, and Kobi was minding his own business when he got hit.
    Regarding DC and his comments involving MS…I think DC has been fair because let’s face it MS has underwhelmed, has made some rookie-like mistakes, has had few shining moments that pale in comparison to his past career, and still lags behind NR in points after a season and a half.
    I think DC and MB have started to give him some accolades eg. For his starts, but it seems no sooner does he show a little coming to grips with things, off goes another wing.
    And this against NR who, no offence intended has yet to win a race let alone a WDC let alone 7. Given all the numbers MS has compiled, I think everything he does is fair game to comment on, and he has also claimed some victims with some of his behaviour, so fair game I say. MS has far from stamped his authority on his return making some fairly question why he did.

  14. bill said on 19th July 2011, 3:04

    SCHUMI WILL WIN IN 2011

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