Mercedes: Rosberg also loses out in the rain

2011 Hungarian GP team review

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Nico Rosberg was another driver left ruing a late switch to intermediates in Hungary.

Michael SchumacherNico Rosberg
Qualifying position97
Qualifying time comparison (Q3)1’21.907 (+0.809)1’21.098
Race position9
Pit stops24

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

Michael Schumacher119.185110.989109.324107.697104.73103.905105.035102.786102.451101.653100.20399.929102.324115.14691.47490.64690.40990.44789.78190.23390.33790.20690.34290.67189.92792.076
Nico Rosberg118.063109.858108.372106.279104.594103.739103.551102.791103.063101.919100.785102.328117.65793.42892.91990.96790.91491.19290.31690.28989.91490.36690.64790.22890.05390.33292.238108.96987.89187.20488.73387.94887.99889.10687.42487.65487.65588.05887.70887.84187.76287.27887.44887.60989.03191.61792.40490.48893.377104.485115.7493.58295.48598.423111.21386.32485.95985.4685.27787.00490.01785.76285.04484.85785.31886.03486.01688.06586.666

Michael Schumacher

Schumacher lost time in the first two sectors after switching to the super-soft tyres on Saturday, ending up behind Rosberg for the tenth time in 11 races.

He made his customary strong start, passing Mark Webber, Adrian Sutil and both Ferraris. But Fernando took him at the final corner at the end of the first lap.

Felipe Massa and Webber then relegated him to seventh. Schumacher stayed out long on intermediate tyres, briefly heading the field but never actually leading a lap as he came into the pits on lap 13.

He came out in front of Massa, who he kept behind throughout his second stint. At his next stop he switched to soft tyres and Massa appeared on the outside of him at turn two. As Massa turned in, Schumacher spun.

According to Schumacher, this was not connected to his retirement due to gearbox failure: “As far as we know, this had nothing to do with the spin I had when fighting with Felipe which was mainly caused by avoiding contact.”

Michael Schumacher 2011 form guide

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2011

Nico Rosberg

Seventh on the grid behind the Red Bulls, McLarens and Ferraris was as much as the car had in it.

Rosberg battled with the Ferraris in the opening stint, being passed by Fernando Alonso, gaining the place back as Alonso spun, then falling behind him again.

Like Schumacher, Rosberg ran a stint on super-softs before switching to the softs. Mercedes had seen high wear on the super-softs in practice.

He was due for a pit stop around the time the rain arrived and gambled on a switch to intermediates. He’d already lost sixth place to Massa, and this call cost him two further positions.

After switching back to slicks he passed Kamui Kobayashi and Jaime Alguerauri to recover ninth.

Nico Rosberg 2011 form guide

2011 Hungarian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    14 comments on “Mercedes: Rosberg also loses out in the rain”

    1. So does this mean that mercedes have completely given up on developing the 2011 car?

      1. Can’t be far off that point surely. By this time last year they had 2 podiums under their belt. Rather disappointing to say the least.

        1. Both of the Mercedes podiums were in the first few races when Red Bull in particular, but Ferrari too to some extent, were still figuring things out.

          By this time of the year, the drop-off was about the same or worse. They only recovered late in the year as they finally worked on setting up the car right and not so much trying to fix it with new failing parts.

          But given that the rules aren’t all that different, maybe they can try and use it as a real test-mule so that they don’t bake in things like the too short wheelbase and innovatively-limiting radiator set-up.

    2. Yeah all things considered I thought NR once again had a solid day for being in a best-of-the-rest car. Solid start (MS hasn’t always outstarted NR), solid on cold tires initially, and was looking to get a 7th (best that can be expected from this car) if it weren’t for a couple of cars ahead of him stopping one less time. Great to see him get a couple of more points up on MS.

      As to MS spinning to avoid a crash…if true, that has to be a first and perhaps borne of having so much contact this year, (most of which he has accepted blame for), that he didn’t want yet another incident.

      I’m sure Merc wants to hold onto their 4th place in the WCC chase, but other than that I agree that they might as well concentrate on 2012.

      1. If it wasn’t for that train Kobayashi created, Rosberg would have ended up 11th or 12th. Very disappointing pace by Mercedes.

        1. True, and being lapped can’t feel good. NR pretty much had to abandon his fight for higher spots in the end in order to let the leaders passed. Another lap or two of being able to fight and he might have earned the 7th spot in earnest.

    3. Onto 2012!

      1. or onto 2013 next year? :D

        1. Hope springs eternal…but you’re probably right.

    4. I had such high hopes when they were 4th and 5th by the second corner – but then it all went downhill from then. A bit disappointing but it’s obvious they just don’t have the pace of the top three cars at the moment. I hope they can improve next year.

    5. Schumacher’s qualifying pace this year is awful. It should be 11-0 to Rosberg, the one time he did outqualify Nico was at Monaco when the red flags helped him out.

      People bang on about Massa being unable to beat Alonso in qualifying but Schumacher has been just as bad.

      1. The qualifying pace might not be their biggest problem, MSC and ROS both have been doing good starts this year. It is after that where the problem is as they can’t keep their position because of lack of pace and relatively high degradation.

        I think the drivers are doing pretty well, particularly Rosberg. But the team would be better off going the conservative Ferrari route next year, making a relatively simple and stable platform that works okay, which they can then improve over the season. Works better than innovating with things that end up being the biggest problems for the car.

    6. If Schumacher had stayed out one lap longer he would have completed his first lap in first place since Japan 2006!!

      1. Yeah, but he was losing heaps of time to the slick runners at that point. He was gaining on those ahead of him before they stopped but not after.

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