Michael Schumacher, Mark Webber, Suzuka, 2011

Mercedes: Schumacher closes on Rosberg’s tally

2011 Japanese GP team reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

The Mercedes drivers closed to within three points of each other in the championship in Japan.

Michael Schumacher beat one of the Ferraris to take sixth.

But Nico Rosberg had to battle his way through the field after a technical problem in qualifying left him 23rd on the grid.

Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg
Qualifying position 8 23
Qualifying time comparison n/a n/a
Race position 6 10
Laps 53/53 53/53
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
Michael Schumacher 105.323 102.056 101.572 101.399 101.637 101.61 101.911 101.891 104.559 118.519 101.258 100.796 100.597 100.8 100.976 100.733 101.371 100.81 100.583 101.163 102.661 101.089 102.23 114.925 143.513 131.968 150.742 100.381 99.01 98.962 98.957 98.684 98.611 98.718 98.907 98.726 98.936 98.297 98.37 98.199 100.798 115.485 98.279 98.67 98.68 98.504 98.63 98.282 99.12 98.427 98.273 98.033 97.916
Nico Rosberg 114.517 104.262 104.43 102.555 103.979 103.563 102.373 102.429 103.683 102.44 104.312 105.524 117.627 100.044 100.095 100.35 101.208 100.447 100.972 101.409 100.956 101.27 101.537 121.453 140.711 108.019 148.802 102.899 100.83 100.561 99.85 98.549 99.117 100.351 99.427 100.516 100.448 98.621 99.641 99.641 103.673 115.084 96.874 98.318 99.684 100.224 99.135 97.054 98.653 96.614 97.025 97.908 98.085

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher, Mark Webber, Suzuka, 2011
Michael Schumacher, Mark Webber, Suzuka, 2011
Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 20.667s
Pit stop 2 Soft 22.57s
Pit stop 3 Medium 20.879s

With Rosberg unable to set a time, Schumacher was the highest Mercedes driver on the grid for only the third time in 2011.

He started eighth having not set a time in Q3 following his altercation with Lewis Hamilton at the chicane.

Running the same three-stop strategy as the cars in front of him, Schumacher looked unlikely to finish higher than the seventh place he occupied for much of the early part of the race.

But by staying out late into his third stint, inheriting the lead of a race for the first time since his Ferrari engine failed here five years ago, he built up a sufficient gap over Felipe Massa to come out in front of the Ferrari in sixth place.

Michael Schumacher 2011 form guide

Nico Rosberg

Start tyre Medium
Pit stop 1 Soft 20.575s
Pit stop 2 Soft 20.665s
Pit stop 3 Soft 20.809s

An hydraulic problem developed on Rosberg’s car at the start of Q1 and he was unable to participate in qualifying, leaving him 23rd on the grid.

Rosberg’s progress through the field was aided by the fastest pit stops of any driver in the race during his first and second visits.

Starting the race on medium tyres allowed him to run the final stint on softs and overtake some of the cars in front of him. An opportunistic move on lap 46 took him ahead of Paul di Resta when the Force India driver was momentarily held up by Vitaly Petrov in the Dunlop curve.

Rosberg was never able to put a move on Petrov, but he shadowed the Renault and together they took Kamui Kobayashi and Adrian Sutil, Rosberg finishing tenth.

“This is definitely one of the toughest tracks for overtaking so starting from the back of the grid meant that I had a pretty tough job,” he said.

“Before the race, I hoped to achieve between eighth and tenth places and, whilst it would have been nice to be a bit higher, it’s still a decent result.”

Nico Rosberg 2011 form guide

2011 Japanese Grand Prix

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