Both Mercedes drivers struggled with rear tyre wear in Monaco.
|Michael Schumacher||Nico Rosberg|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q3)||1’14.682 (-1.084)||1’15.766|
Mercedes drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
Got his weekend off to a bad start with a crash at Sainte Devote in first practice. But it cost him little time as the team were able to repair his car for the next session.
Schumacher bogged down at the start as his engine went into anti-stall mode, and clipped the back of Lewis Hamilton’s car. He then passed Hamilton at the hairpin for ninth but the McLaren driver took the place back eight laps later.
Struggling badly on his super-soft tyres, with visible rear tyre graining, Schumacher was easy meat for Rubens Barrichello and became the first driver to pit on lap 12, falling to 21st.
He later muscled past his team mate for 14th place but retired a few laps later with a fire in his airbox.
Rosberg had a frightening near miss when he crashed in practice on Saturday morning, skidding past the barrier which Sergio Perez later struck.
His mechanics worked swiftly to return him to the track in time for qualifying and he made it into Q3.
Like Hamilton, he failed to set a time before Perez’s crash and had to do a time much later on when the track was not giving as much grip. He started behind Schumacher for the first time this year.
He also suffered high tyre wear early in the race and at one point had Felipe Massa, Pastor Maldonado, Vitaly Petrov and Hamilton all within 1.7 seconds of him.
Massa and Maldonado squeezed past at Tabac before Rosberg ducked into the pits on lap 15 to switch to the soft tyres.
He struggled with tyre wear to finish a twice-lapped 11th.
Ross Brawn said: “The difficulties that we experienced on the first set of tyres, with the super softs falling away from us and graining so early, really dictated our race.
“We need to look into it as this was surprising after the good pace we had during the practice sessions. We had a few technical problems with the cars in the race but the core issue was the inability to make the first set of tyres last more than ten or twelve laps.”
2011 Monaco Grand Prix
Image © Mercedes