Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Mercedes: Rosberg comes out ahead after first-lap scrap

2011 Abu Dhabi GP team reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

The finely-poised championship battle between Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher produced a hard-fought scrap on the first lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg
Qualifying position 8 7
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’40.662 (+0.889) 1’39.773
Race position 7 6
Laps 55/55 55/55
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
Michael Schumacher 116.95 109.414 108.933 108.286 108.344 108.171 108.075 107.933 108.012 107.848 107.905 107.893 107.671 108.427 108.62 111.719 127.215 106.543 107.737 106.654 106.098 106.091 106.191 105.8 105.689 106.111 105.844 106.002 105.646 105.872 105.511 105.456 105.321 105.37 105.564 106.095 105.565 105.221 105.571 105.577 105.498 106.948 126.889 105.782 105.137 105.278 104.964 104.916 105.025 105.177 105.197 105.1 104.991 104.935 105.068
Nico Rosberg 116.239 109.142 108.61 107.99 108.03 107.887 107.602 107.415 107.476 107.446 107.168 107.059 107.376 107.366 107.48 107.443 109.186 125.34 106.722 106.333 106.104 106.241 106.072 106.129 106.142 105.767 106.18 105.381 105.499 105.558 105.34 105.531 105.353 105.012 105.289 105.132 104.976 104.831 105.11 105.674 105.056 104.795 104.696 104.697 106.362 105.042 104.6 106.884 124.803 105.11 104.613 104.345 104.428 104.148 103.993

Michael Schumacher

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 19.66s
Pit stop 2 Medium 20.638s

Schumacher seemed to have an unhealthy predilection for Yas Marina’s many run-off areas during practice, often ducking out of the braking zones and scurrying across the wide expanses of tarmac between the track’s chicanes.

He lined up eighth on the grid, the best part of a second slower than his team mate. He’d had to do an extra run in Q1 – using an extra set of softs – as he briefly came under threat of elimination from Heikki Kovalainen.

Schumacher got ahead of Rosberg on the run to turn two but was held up by Felipe Massa at the hairpin, allowing Rosberg to get a run on him going into turn eight.

He defended hard from his team mate, squeezing him to the very inside of the corner, and briefly succeeded in holding the place.

But Rosberg came back at him on the following straight, got down the inside, and gave Schumacher a taste of his own tactics by pushing him wide at the exit of turn 11.

Schumacher slipped from his team mate during the race, partly because he lacked the benefit of a new set of soft tyres for his middle stint.

He lost part of his front wing later on which cost him some downforce, and he began to develop a slow puncture in the final laps. He was able to fend off Adrian Sutil but pulled over after taking the chequered flag.

Michael Schumacher 2011 form guide

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Abu Dhabi, 2011
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Abu Dhabi, 2011
Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 19.785s
Pit stop 2 Medium 19.907s

Rosberg took up his customary seventh place on the grid, where he has started half of this year’s races from.

He was pushed onto the run-off at turn one by Massa, which caused him to drop behind Schumacher, though he fought back strongly to reclaim the position.

He ran long in his second stint in an effort to close on Massa. This became a serious possibility when the Ferrari driver had his spin, and the pair ended the race less than two seconds apart with Rosberg closing in.

Nico Rosberg 2011 form guide

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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