Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Mercedes: Drivers’ points gap shrinks as Rosberg loses out

2011 Indian GP team reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Michael Schumacher cut Nico Rosberg’s points advantage after passing him in the pit stop.

Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg
Qualifying position 11 7
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’26.337 (+0.782) 1’25.555
Race position 5 6
Laps 60/60 60/60
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 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
Michael Schumacher 100.462 95.876 94.83 94.15 93.824 93.398 93.149 93.122 92.867 92.832 92.82 92.438 92.309 92.82 92.314 92.491 93.424 95.283 109.209 91.816 90.658 91.143 91.337 90.878 90.905 91.339 91.338 91.157 90.607 90.42 90.972 89.909 90.221 89.603 90.218 89.464 89.596 89.366 89.326 89.408 89.307 89.605 88.893 88.757 88.953 88.564 88.659 88.549 89.413 91.145 108.496 89.145 88.91 89.255 89.445 89.765 88.69 89.115 88.841 89.617
Nico Rosberg 99.752 95.735 94.196 93.827 93.535 93.464 92.955 92.752 92.626 93.269 92.238 91.969 92.298 92.278 92.148 92.308 94.49 109.458 92.257 91.397 91.323 90.976 91.197 91.4 91.249 92.589 91.562 91.063 90.665 90.399 90.269 90.45 90.024 90.42 90.221 89.965 89.589 89.436 89.609 89.407 89.33 89.471 89.134 89.327 91.276 109.379 89.699 89.339 88.862 88.98 89.386 89.793 89.486 89.239 89.286 90.14 88.771 88.877 88.6 88.713

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Buddh International Circuit, 2011
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Buddh International Circuit, 2011
Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 20.893s
Pit stop 2 Hard 21.482s

Schumacher failed to reach Q3 and complained of tyre vibrations for the second race in a row. But he said: “this certainly does not explain the [0.8s] time gap to Nico so we need to understand what the reason was for that and get on top of it,” he said.

He passed the two Toro Rossos as they queued up on the inside of turn three at the start, then slipstreamed past Adrian Sutil on the way to turn four: “I deliberately didn’t want to use KERS in the first two corners and save it for the long straight where I knew that I could make up some positions,” he said.

That moved him up to eighth and into what became a race-long battle with his team mate, both doing two stints on soft tyres followed by a final stint on hards.

Schumacher’s middle stint was four laps longer than Rosberg’s, giving him more time on the quicker soft tyres. That and Rosberg’s slow pit stop allowed Schumacher to come out ahead in fifth place.

“To come home in fifth place after starting in 11th is certainly satisfying for Michael,” said Norbert Haug. “His start, when he gained three places, and his second long and consistent stint were decisive for him to get in front of Nico.”

Michael Schumacher 2011 form guide

Nico Rosberg

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 21.149s
Pit stop 2 Hard 22.978s

Rosberg damaged the floor of his car in Q1 hitting a kerb but nonetheless out-qualified Schumacher as usual.

According to Ross Brawn, Rosberg’s middle stint was shorter than Schumacher’s because “second set of tyres faded a little bit more on him”. The lap times show he did his fastest lap of the race two laps before pitting and was only two-tenths of a second off that on his next lap. Perhaps he felt something in the tyres that can’t be discerned in the times sheets.

Rosberg’s second pit stop was one-and-a-half seconds slower than Schumacher’s which made things worse. Schumacher took the place, leaving Rosberg sixth, and cutting the points gap between them to five.

Nico Rosberg 2011 form guide

2011 Indian Grand Prix

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