Mercedes: Two-stop strategy leaves Rosberg vulnerable

2011 Brazilian GP team review

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

Michael SchumacherNico Rosberg
Qualifying position106
Qualifying time comparison (Q2)1’13.571 (+1.002)1’12.569
Race position157
Pit stops32

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

Michael Schumacher89.36880.49279.77679.57879.979.7679.76679.46179.471125.881100.42479.07179.08580.84679.05978.82578.91579.1979.46279.3379.65178.60678.72278.56879.51978.64278.33679.05581.05579.11679.21182.97993.42477.81478.32578.94378.66778.50177.78477.76577.71377.77777.55978.25278.37677.84777.71878.0378.02878.09681.60493.11277.38477.76277.26977.30177.18576.94676.94976.90576.87876.68176.70677.15777.06677.1276.94677.04277.00277.361
Nico Rosberg87.36279.76479.59579.45279.33979.33279.27679.30779.2379.52379.52779.79579.66879.66979.70183.3393.9279.05578.90880.59478.66178.678.6278.43678.4878.25778.30878.42978.76378.65478.45278.45678.47578.80278.48578.69978.73378.69779.17579.00879.20482.7892.57877.36177.20777.81977.96778.04578.5979.19978.47478.578.68379.63878.49177.92178.91977.83578.01177.7177.65677.73179.04577.73177.69578.17477.95477.81778.1377.634

Michael Schumacher

Start tyreSoft
Pit stop 1Soft 25.481s
Pit stop 2Soft 20.782s
Pit stop 3Medium 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
Start tyreSoft
Pit stop 1Soft 20.773s
Pit stop 2Medium 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. 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. Just hope better car for the next year…

      1. A pity to see his race destroyed, he was progressing rapidly.

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

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

      1. @David-A And guess who’s going there?! Me! :D

        1. @andrewtanner Nice one, have a good time! :)

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

      1. Meant as a reply for, just above.

    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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