Mercedes: No points as drivers struggle in race

2011 Monaco GP team review

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Both Mercedes drivers struggled with rear tyre wear in Monaco.

Michael SchumacherNico Rosberg
Qualifying position58
Qualifying time comparison (Q3)1’14.682 (-1.084)1’15.766
Race position11
Pit stops14

Mercedes drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

Michael Schumacher93.40382.51382.01781.76481.64181.66281.57382.36382.15483.85382.673111.38283.38681.02380.98281.89280.87480.24680.26680.92783.08883.8781.12781.38381.87482.9582.47982.66681.0379.80179.96681.624
Nico Rosberg89.99182.09581.26481.00781.01280.80480.91181.17981.26781.63482.19782.54183.68186.664104.55386.25481.42682.1682.46782.53483.81783.63680.91581.64381.98683.06382.3182.66383.1983.12883.6683.989107.431108.467116.654117.187114.46387.08383.46782.51781.9181.91681.50181.8581.74282.1980.57380.40380.46380.39480.65880.79499.4583.00779.77478.69979.22979.38180.37879.67380.24879.579.89780.66883.34986.28692.939127.92124.421123.47880.37779.46778.90879.08582.098

Michael Schumacher

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.

Michael Schumacher 2011 form guide

Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Monaco, 2011

Nico Rosberg

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.”

Nico Rosberg 2011 form guide

2011 Monaco Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    47 comments on “Mercedes: No points as drivers struggle in race”

    1. Schumacher was great this weekend, his passes on Hamilton and Robserg at the hairpin were wonderful (as was the move Barrichello pulled on him).

      1. yep, bet Ali G aka Hamilton didnt like that one! great move by Rubens too.

        1. Bet LH didn’t like getting hit by MS to being with.

          1. oops…thats, ‘to begin with’…

          2. That was an Accidental tiny tap by MS into first corner as all the cars squeezed close into the 1st corner (I didn’t even see any carbon bodywork break) & nothing compared to Hamilton’s hits on others during the race (that could hardly be called accidental).

            Bet they didn’t like getting hit by LH either eh?

            1. correction (on my point about no carbon flying), MS did have to replace his front wing in the 1st stops so he must have broken something off on the back of Hamiltons car, it still looked like a very small touch but…

      2. I did not see when he passed Hamilton. I see the races on Star Sports/ESPN and i guess they missed it…:(

        1. It was actually on Lap 1 – you may have been looking at the leaders when Schumi passed Hamilton at Loews. ESS definitely didn’t miss that one.

      3. Yea it was a great move from Schumacher, lovely to see, about time!

      4. Unfortunately I was unable to see the race, but I am not surprised to learn that Michael’s car, as usual, suffered from some mechanical defect or other. Anti-stall mode on take-off, fire in the air box … in other races it’s the DRS, or the KERS or changed settings … I am beginning to think like Flavio Briatori. It’s strange that everything that goes wrong, happens to go wrong in Michael’s car. Very strange indeed, that a car that in Practice 3 does the best times, a few hours later actually battles to qualify! Mr. Brawn, what is going on?

    2. Thought Schcmacher had a good recovery after the car let him down at start. Nice to see Hamilton passed by him then before retired was way faster than Rosberg who ended up having a rare bad performance.

      But that still doesn’t stop Eddie Jordan going into auto pilot mode and saying Schumi had a really bad race, and Coulthard who clearly has some spite against him trying to get a dig in at every possible opportunity.

      1. Heh, I remember that late in the race Alguersuari overtook Rosberg. Just imagine what they would say if it was Schumi instead of Ros.

        1. @keith, I need an exception for this message pleaz pleaz.. I know you won’t like :-)

          Alexi, let me try…

          1. He is 42. He has clearly passed his prime
          2. You can’t stop the clock. It is time he needs to sit with his family and the team to decide about his future
          3. mutliple winner at Monaco getting passed by a STR driver
          4. what’s that on the wall?
          5. Michael who?

          and in the end, “we have a lot of respect for Michael and it is really sad to see him struggle”


      2. ‘Thought Schcmacher had a good recovery after the car let him down at start.’

        Unless you have some information I dont, I can’t see where you are making that conclusion from.

        His car went into anti-stall, which generally means that he did not maintain enough revs for the start. That to me is a clear DRIVER error, and nothing to do with his car letting him down at all.

        MSC made some good moves, and qualified well, but his mistake at the start cost him a good running position early on and his move on Lewis was brilliant……

        But not what i would call a good race really……..

        1. I don’t think his bad start would’ve saved him from graining rears or an airbox fire. Might’ve saved him the hassle of running over Massa’s debris, though.

          You know Schumi’s had a good race when people are asking Hamilton to look at Schumi as an example of hard, fair racing – that doesn’t happen everyday!

        2. In relation to Nico, Michael had a good pace after he changed the nose cone. Even in the first stint, he wouldn’t have strugled that badly if hadn’t damaged the front in lap 1 @ Sainte Devote and was lacking downforce. Leaving all the if’s and but’s – Schumi was so confident driving in Monaco. It’s a shame, we may not see him race there again.

          1. Yeah, this is how I feel about his race too.

        3. Yes it could have been a driver error, BUT the Anti Stall could have also kicked in if the team setup the clutch engagement to aggressive & it bit too hard off the line, causing the revs to drop. Nothing the driver can do about it in that circumstance…

      3. Well given that MS spent the day running around outside the points after coming in for a long stop and a new front wing having hit LH, and after this time blowing his start which was about the only thing he was doing well, I don’t see what is so ‘auto pilot’ about EJ’s remarks other than it is because it was more of the same from MS…barely getting any points again this season. EJ will change his tune when MS does. Same for DC’s remarks…might as well throw Brundle’s remarks into the equation too…it’s up to MS to get them talking different talk…but it’s been nearly a year and a half now, and still nothing to write home about.

        1. Sure it wasn’t great race from Schumi compared to front runners but the car was a complete dog as Rosberg showed yet he pulled a sweet move on Hamilton and his teamate Rosberg on a very hard to pass track.

          Its a bit naive to say because the car anti stalled on grid it was because the driver made a mistake with too little revs as if its as basic a solution as that.

          He has been rubbish in his comeback but doesn’t deserve to be slated after this race.

          1. I agree and believe the car is still severely lacking.

        2. People keep moving the goal posts though. Before the last two races, it was all, “he’s being beaten by his team mate.” In the last two races he’s beaten Rosberg in the race (after not setting a time in Q3), and then in this race, he out qualified him and was running ahead of him after passing when the car failed.

          So, what are we judging Schumacher by? Is it is pace relative to his team mate? His raw pace in qualifying or the race? Or his points tally?

          If we are judging by pace relative to his team mate, then he is having a better season that Webber.

          1. Well at Monaco NR was prevented from a true quali lap due to the red flag in Q3, so I wouldn’t say MS outqualified him, more like MS got lucky that NR’s hot lap was scuppered. Had that not happened there’s a good chance NR would have outqualified MS, and given the stall of MS at the start, he may not have even gotten near NR. So not really the race to say that MS is catching up to NR.

            I judge MS by the fact that without all that he had at Ferrari, he is nowhere. He has had a year and a half almost, and still lags behind NR on average, and in the points standings, and I see every indication that all things being equal NR is still faster in quali, in races, and has more points and that trend should continue.

            1. Rosberg never set a time anywhere near what MS did in Q3 so its doubtful he would have got as fast a time in that session anyway. I think the red flag actually saved Rosberg from being beaten in quali for the 1st time this year by MS fair & square, this way he had an excuse to fall back on. Simple fact is they both started Q3 at the same time with the same options, & MS got the job done quickly on his 1st lap whereas Rosberg didn’t. We all know that sometimes going out early in a session & setting a clean time is a very valid strategy, look what the Red Bulls did in Turkey for example.

    3. Did Mercedes use other tyres than everyone else? They were the only cars suffering from the high tyre-wear rates expected by Pirelli before the race-weekend.

      1. I suspect they set their cars up with more downforce than the others to set better times in qualifying, gambling that they could keep the others back come raceday. As we saw, that didn’t quite work out.

        1. Bound to be setup related, and it was not the first time where they were supprised by how the car reacted with heavy fuel.

          I get the feeling there is still a lot of clueless Honda in this team. Ross has a lot of work before him still.

          1. Clueless Honda built the BGP cars as well.

            1. That doesn’t mean anything. They built a great car in 2004, second best to the F2004, but subsequently they finished 6th,4th,8th & 9th in the constructor’s championship. Then they won the championship in 2009, followed by 4th in 2010 and 5th so far in 2011. The team is capable of producing good cars. They just don’t seem to be able to do that consistently.

            2. Yeah, they had a couple of guys from Super Aguri into the team in 2009 to help the car (Others went to Toyota and Williams), and came up with the DDD.

              Probably dropped them when they cut the staff though.

        2. That would lower tyre wear….

    4. Before the race Coulthard did an article about how incomprehensibly difficult it would be for him to return to F1 with Red Bull. He also stated that in the short time he has been out things have developed so much… etc, that he would really struggle to return…or that is what he intimated.

      Interestingly at no point did he relate that to what Schumacher has done and is doing (despite all the flak he gives him about returning. Because in my view the way he explained how difficult it would be for himself made what Schumacher is doing (although still not on top form and inconsistent) all the more impressive.

      1. It seems like Coulthard has something against Schumacher. Noticed this different times. Maybe he keeps having flashbacks of this haha

      2. that he would really struggle to return…or that is what he intimated.

        Yes David Coulthard is corrent. He would really struggle and couldn’t crush other drivers as he did in his racing days and couldn’t add more championships to his already overflowing showcase. :(

        1. But MS has had how many races now? Almost a season and a half worth. And what to show for it? So sure, maybe DC acknowledges he himself would struggle if he returned today…MS returned well over 20 races ago and should have a much stronger handle on things by now…except that…it’s not the MS/Ferrari days anymore where he had advantages hand over fist not only over his own teammate but over the rest of the field too…

          1. Give it a rest. F1 isn’t the same as it was back then, he’s not as sharp as he was previously and the calibre of drivers now is a higher standard than before.

            Seriously, your MS bashing is just a waste of time, no-one’s referring to the past because the present is what matters.

            Unfortunately, at present, he isn’t performing as well as he should which is frustrating to see as fan. Your unncessary and, verging on petty, (Ferrari era) MS bashing is very boring. Please stop.

            1. No one is referring to the past? Then what’s with all the comparison talk of SV’s season start vs. MS’s 94 season start?

              Get over it…MS is a 7 time WDC that came back to F1 and it isn’t working out for him…all comments are fair game…if he hadn’t returned I wouldn’t be talking about him, but every time I turn around he is being talked about, his performance now vs. then and vs. NR and the rest of the grid is being talked about, and it is all the very reason Reubens said upon hearing of MS’s return to F1, that MS had more to lose than he had to gain upon a return…and now we are seeing that.

              Sorry it isn’t working out for your guy, but as far as I’m concerned he is not an honourable man on the track and didn’t win his WDC’s in an honourable way, and now he is back amongst us…as I say, fair game then.

            2. Furthermore, my previous comment was really more to defend DC’s comment and the respondent’s than to shoot MS down further. DC is saying he would struggle upon returning, someone asked then why he is so hard on MS, and I say it is because MS hasn’t just returned…he has had plenty of races now to adapt to this generation of F1.

          2. Yay go England, go Damon, go Lewis! Damn you MS you dirty cheating kraut grrrrr…..

            sorry just hearing Robbie’s thoughts for some reason ;-)

          3. With all due respect to your comments below about MS not winning his 7 world titles ” but as far as I’m concerned he is not an honourable man on the track and didn’t win his WDC’s in an honourable way”This is like a big joke please 7 times and i think in 2000 he really fought for his championship and b/w 2001 and 2005 i think he won them all fairly so what if he had the best machinery i think ferrari worked to perfection as a team and the result was out there for people to see i’m sure he worked so hard from 1995 to 2000 to make what ferrari what it is to be honest even Alonso is a sour loser like what happened to him when hamilton beat him .MS is old and at 42 you do lose the edge the very fine edge so it is a little difficult for MS to get the job done right at the sharp end when things are critical And in my opinion HE ONLY CAME BACK TO F1 BECAUSE I THINK HE LIKE THE ENTIRE FEELING OF DRIVING A F1 CAR RATHER THAN LOOKING AT HIS REPUTATION I mean this guy is the most sucessful f1 driver the world has ever produced so i dont think you have to ask him to come and prove something to me and a lot of people he is GOD maybe not to you but he has had his days like vettel is having his best days now(god bless him) look at webber now with the same equipment or say 95% same equipment is not able to produce the same results why is that same with any of MS’s team mates (PRE RETIREMENT).

            AND PLEASE DONT SAY THAT HE DINT WIN HIS CHAMPIONSHIPS HONOURABLY THIS IS A JOKE PLEASE…. )I know you are entitled to your opnion but grow up quite a lot of the most sucessful people are contraversial it’s a part of the HUMAN Race…

        2. yeah I always thought coulthard was a bit of a journeyman in f1, never seemed to have blinding speed but he was always there.

    5. I guess everybody uses a high downforce setup in Monaco, so there won’t be much of a difference. Probably a poor car-setup caused massive oversteer with heave fuel-loads, which caused the rear tyres to wear out quickly.

    6. Mercedes really seem to have a lot of work to do to finally get an understanding of the tyres, or even the concept of making the car work with the tyres- they had problems last year, and in a lot of races they either couldn’t get them to work in qualifying, and/or they then had high degradation in the race.

      I guess it is a set-up issue, and they do seem to have a bit more idea of what to change to get them to work than last year, but not for a whole weekend.

      1. I really thing they should go & do a massive test session right now, rather than saving some test days for later in the year. For a car to be that inconsistent (fast then slow for no reason suddenly) it has to be a case of the car having the speed but the team needing to find a workable setup. In years gone by MS would have simply kept doing test laps until they got it right, but these days this is not an option as they seem to design everything based on their playstation simulators, rather than doing the actual testing on the actual car at an actual track (what a strange idea hahaha!)

    7. Bad day for the team.Mercedes have good pace on quali but when fuel on board their early race pace isn’t strong they need to work more on that.

    8. I was mighty impressed with the Mercedes effort to get Rosberg out for qualifying, impressive stuff. I would have liked to see him start from the back however, just to see if he could do a ‘Webber’ or not ;)

      A shame to see Schumacher go out of the race but he managed to keep his head down and out of trouble…I was a little tetchy when Barrichello got up the side of him!

    9. I failed to mention i was just replying to Robbie for saying this”but as far as I’m concerned he is not an honourable man on the track and didn’t win his WDC’s in an honourable way”

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