Mercedes: Two-stop strategy leaves Rosberg vulnerable

2011 Brazilian GP team review

Nico Rosberg lost sixth to Adrian Sutil running a two-stop strategy.

Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg
Qualifying position 10 6
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’13.571 (+1.002) 1’12.569
Race position 15 7
Laps 70/71 70/71
Pit stops 3 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 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71
Michael Schumacher 89.368 80.492 79.776 79.578 79.9 79.76 79.766 79.461 79.471 125.881 100.424 79.071 79.085 80.846 79.059 78.825 78.915 79.19 79.462 79.33 79.651 78.606 78.722 78.568 79.519 78.642 78.336 79.055 81.055 79.116 79.211 82.979 93.424 77.814 78.325 78.943 78.667 78.501 77.784 77.765 77.713 77.777 77.559 78.252 78.376 77.847 77.718 78.03 78.028 78.096 81.604 93.112 77.384 77.762 77.269 77.301 77.185 76.946 76.949 76.905 76.878 76.681 76.706 77.157 77.066 77.12 76.946 77.042 77.002 77.361
Nico Rosberg 87.362 79.764 79.595 79.452 79.339 79.332 79.276 79.307 79.23 79.523 79.527 79.795 79.668 79.669 79.701 83.33 93.92 79.055 78.908 80.594 78.661 78.6 78.62 78.436 78.48 78.257 78.308 78.429 78.763 78.654 78.452 78.456 78.475 78.802 78.485 78.699 78.733 78.697 79.175 79.008 79.204 82.78 92.578 77.361 77.207 77.819 77.967 78.045 78.59 79.199 78.474 78.5 78.683 79.638 78.491 77.921 78.919 77.835 78.011 77.71 77.656 77.731 79.045 77.731 77.695 78.174 77.954 77.817 78.13 77.634

Michael Schumacher

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 25.481s
Pit stop 2 Soft 20.782s
Pit stop 3 Medium 21.373s

Schumacher had a poor qualifying session, having to do extra runs on soft tyres in Q1 and Q2 leaving him with none left for a run in Q3. He was over a second off Rosberg in Q2.

Unusually he lost a place at the start but was quickly back past Paul di Resta into tenth.

His attempt to pass Bruno Senna didn’t go as well, the pair making contact, leaving Schumacher with a puncture:

“After the collision, all I could do was try to fight as much as possible, and hope for rain which did not come. In the first stint after the incident, my car was not well-balanced with a lot of oversteer.

“Unfortunately we could not change this at the pit stop which handicapped the balance in the second stint, whereas in the last stint the balance was good.”

Schumacher ended the second season of his comeback with 15th place.

Michael Schumacher 2011 form guide

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2011

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2011

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 20.773s
Pit stop 2 Medium 20.658s

Rosberg set a blinding in time in Q2 to go second. Although he fell almost half a second short of it in Q3, it only cost him one place on the grid.

“I was maybe a little too slow on my out lap in Q3 so my tyres didn’t work perfectly on my fast lap, and that’s why I wasn’t as quick as in Q2,” he said, lining up sixth ahead of Massa.

Despite high tyre degradation, Mercedes persisted with a two-stop strategy for Rosberg which left him vulnerable to Adrian Sutil.

He defended his place from the Force India with an excellent piece of late braking at turn one on lap 49.

It was only a matter of time until he lost the place, however, and he duly succumbed on the next tour, falling to seventh.

“I expected to finish higher,” he admitted. “I didn’t get a good start, and I had problems with my tyres overheating as the track temperatures were very high. So I had to manage my tyres very carefully during the whole race which impacted on the pace.”

Nico Rosberg 2011 form guide

2011 Brazilian Grand Prix

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17 comments on Mercedes: Two-stop strategy leaves Rosberg vulnerable

  1. nackavich (@nackavich) said on 28th November 2011, 14:48

    Rosberg looked good in qualifying and did well to start in front of Massa, would’ve loved to have seen him pester the Ferrari’s a little more in the race though. Been a moderately quiet year for Nico I think, he’s always been there. Hopefully Mercedes will whip up a blinder of a car next year to challenge Ferrari.

  2. I think it was a what could have been race for both of the Mercs. For Rosberg, if things had gone his way he could have taken on Massa I think.

    As for Schumacher, The graph shows he had the pace. Which is good. And that’s including having to get out of the way a fair few times.

    I think Merc has a very strong line up for 2012, With the talented Rosberg and the ever returning Schumacher.

  3. Eggry (@eggry) said on 28th November 2011, 16:20

    Just hope better car for the next year…

  4. Oh Schumi,Schumi !!………. what can I say, compromised again because of a collision with young Bruno this time.
    Never mind there is always next year,and as we all keep saying…”PLEASE MERC DELIVER your boys a GOOD CAR for 2012!!!”
    Rosberg is nearly there,I think once he gets a win nothing will stop him

    I still think Michael will spend his last year 2014, back with Ferrari.

  5. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 29th November 2011, 2:39

    I not Schumacher had that crash he would have finished in the top 6 if not 7,shame.

  6. Alain (@paganbasque) said on 29th November 2011, 7:52

    Its great to see that Michael had the pace even with the incident with Senna, an speciallly because he had to fight with the traffic in the last positions. With a cleaner track and without the puncture his pace could have been even better and he would finished sixth or seventh.

    I hope that Mercedes will FINALLY make a good car for these great drivers, I want to see Mercedes fighting in the top.

  7. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 29th November 2011, 11:31

    Well, Mercedes show they have some potential and good pace, if they get things right. I hope for next year they manage that, including a car that is a bit gentler on the tires, as that seems to trip them up a lot this year.

  8. Robbie (@robbie) said on 30th November 2011, 2:44

    As DC pointed out, NR seems stoked since he signed a contract extension, the team showing their faith in him, so I think he will have a great off-season psychologically, and I totally agree Duke that all he needs is a win behind him. Be surprised if they can fight for wins next year though, but it would sure add a fascinating element to 2012.

    As to MS returning for 2014 to Ferrari for his last year? Can’t see it. He’d fumble around in an unfamiliar car, needing too much time to adapt to retire with any kind of dignity. I predict he will, and should, see how it goes next year, and only if he bests NR should he consider a contract extension, if that is even in his/their thinking. The team will probably go to great lengths either way, to help MS do better relative to NR, but NR has proven to be a worthy opponent, so it should be great fun to watch.

    I look forward to NR taking the fight to MS again next year, and hopefully outpointing him again too.

    Way to go NR…fantastic job in quali all year and amazing consistancy on both Saturdays and Sundays. Keeping it clean…under the radar as many seem to critique it…quietly and unobrusively going about your business…some exciting passes in their too…and you led a race off the start at one point…vs. Red Bulls no less…best year yet? Just might be. Best of the rest…you’ve got to feel good about this season. Only thing to regret…not having a better car. Your day will come.

  9. David-A (@david-a) said on 30th November 2011, 3:10

    Michael Schumacher has had 288 races, so his 300th will appropriately be at Spa-Francorchamps, the 12th race of 2012!

  10. davidburgess@mac.com said on 30th November 2011, 5:45

    Given that there are more good young drivers than slots, msc should move aside for Sutil or Diresta. That would open up an opportunity down the grid.
    Pay it forward Micheal.

  11. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 30th November 2011, 13:45

    Not a bad race from Rosberg at all.

    Pity about Schumacher. Second year in a row his race has been disrupted by someone else. If it’s not Tonio Liuzzi parking on his face, it’s Bruno Senna slashing his tyres!

  12. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 30th November 2011, 13:49

    Alternatively, sticking a multiple world champion, renowned for development and precise feedback is a better step forward for Mercedes in the long term.

  13. Nice one @David A looking forward already. This year Spa 20th golden anniversaries, next year 300th GP awesome. @Andrew Tanner lucky you have a nice GP :)

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