Michael Schumacher cut Nico Rosberg’s points advantage after passing him in the pit stop.
|Michael Schumacher||Nico Rosberg|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q2)||1’26.337 (+0.782)||1’25.555|
Mercedes drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
|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.”
|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.
2011 Indian Grand Prix
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