Archive for March 2012

Malaysian F1 Grand Prix 2012: Race Report - Lewis P3, Jenson P14 (VMM)

- MP4-27A-03
- Started: 1st
- Finished: 3rd
- Fastest lap: 1m41.539s (+0.817s, 6th)
- Pitstops: Three: laps 5, 14 and 41 (Inter-Full Wet-Inter-Op)
- Points: 30 (2nd)

“This was a tough but fascinating race – firstly, I want to offer my congratulations to Fernando [Alonso] and Sergio [Perez] – they both drove great races and did a fantastic job.

“It was pretty eventful race: it was difficult trying to judge the best time to change from Extreme Wets to Intermediates, and we were probably a little late on that – but that’s how it goes sometimes.

“Today wasn’t perfect – making the call for slicks is always a risk, and the others went a bit earlier than us. In general, we lost some time in the pitstops and I was pushed out of the fight somewhat. But, all in all, it’s been a positive weekend and I’m not too frustrated. My aim for this season was always to be consistent – I did it in 2007 so I’m trying to repeat that!

“A big thanks to Lucozade for doing such a great job with the new race hydration formulations this weekend – they’ve really made a difference in such a hot and humid climate. For me, the next races will be all about converting our really strong qualifying pace into equally strong race pace – that’s what I’ll be working in the few weeks ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.”

- MP4-27A-02
- Started: 2nd
- Finished: 14th
- Fastest lap: 1m42.100s (+1.378s, 14th)
- Pitstops: Five: laps 4, 13, 15, 24 and 39 (Inter-Full Wet-Inter-Inter (& front wing change)-Inter-Op)
- 2011 points: 25 (3rd)

“Today was a pretty difficult day; pretty much everything that could have gone wrong in the race did go wrong. And that’s just one of those things – a lot of my issues were brought on when I wiped my front wing off at the start: I locked up the rears, couldn’t slow the car down and hit Karthikeyan, which was a bit frustrating. So I had to pit for a new nose, and that was pretty much it.

“And it’s always going to be tough when you’re down in 14th or 15th position. All the cars were so close and it was difficult to overtake, too. That made it very difficult.

“Big congratulation to Fernando, Sergio and Lewis, who scored more good points for the team – but it just wasn’t a good day for me today. The amazing thing is that I’m still third in the championship after not scoring any points!

“This wasn’t really the result I wanted – but, hey, chin up: we’ll move forwards and hopefully have a much better weekend in China!”

Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Today certainly wasn’t the day I was expecting! Firstly, this was a terrific race for Ferrari and a great result for Sauber – congratulations to both teams. It’s frustrating for us, as the race didn’t really go our way, but today’s result is great for the sport of Formula 1.

“For Jenson, it was simply a bad day in the office – losing a front wing in tricky conditions was always going to make it a hard afternoon for him.

“Lewis was somewhat unlucky, too: Ferrari’s ‘double-shuffle’ pitstop meant we were obliged to hold Lewis in his pitbox longer than we would have liked, but that’s motor racing. Nevertheless, he brought home some extremely valuable world championship points – his 15 points today consolidate Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ position at the top of the constructors’ championship.

“Today’s conditions were always going to represent something of a roll of the dice. We didn’t quite manage everything today, and we’ll go back and analyse our performance, but in normal dry conditions we’ve shown that we’ve got decent pace. There’s a long season ahead, and with one victory and two strong podium positions, we can return to Europe extremely encouraged about the forthcoming races.”

* Official photos and report courtesy of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes *

Copyright © 2012, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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Malaysian F1 Grand Prix 2012: Race Report - Michael P10, Nico P13 (MBAMGF1)

Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg finished the rain-affected Malaysian Grand Prix in 10th and 13th places respectively today.

• Starting from third, Michael’s car was touched on the first lap leading to a spin which dropped him to 16th at the end of lap one
• The rain falling prior to the race increased in intensity from lap four and led to a red flag on lap nine and a 51 minute delay
• After the restart, both Michael and Nico struggled to get the best from their tyres and were not able to fight for positions
• Michael stopped on laps 5, 14 and 39, with an intermediate/wet/intermediate/prime tyre usage
• Nico stopped on laps 5, 13, 26 and 39, with an intermediate/wet/intermediate/intermediate/prime tyre usage

Michael Schumacher
“From where I started the race, it’s a real shame to grab just one point at the end today, and of course I would have wished for a better finish for our team after their hard work. However I was touched at the back soon after the start and the car spun which really decided my afternoon. During the first part of the race, I just tried to stay on track as you couldn’t see anything, and it was the right decision to halt the race. After the re-start, the pace wasn´t that far off but it was the same for a lot of teams so there was no way to gain positions. It’s clear from today that there is still a lot of work for us to do to take our pace from qualifying into the race, and I am sure the guys are already thinking very hard about finding a solution. But this will not be done from one race to another, it will take some time, and we need to give it that time. Still it is a fact that we have improved, so I can fly home now being sure about this and looking forward to fighting in the races to come.”

Nico Rosberg
“That was an unlucky day for me after an eventful race. I had a good restart and because of a good strategy I was in fourth position. But then I had problems with my intermediate tyres; the degradation was very high which forced me to do another pit stop for a new set. The positive thing is that on my last stint with the slicks, I had good pace and because of my tyre management, I was able to beat Jenson. We are strong in qualifying but not yet in the race, and we need to work on that before the next race in China.”

Ross Brawn
“It’s a very disappointing end to what had been such a positive weekend here in Malaysia. Clearly we have a conundrum with this car that we have to unravel. After such an encouraging qualifying session, and indeed the fuel runs that we did on Friday, we struggled to get the tyres to work properly in the race today. There were little windows when we seemed to get them working and other times where we fell out of them completely. I don’t believe that we are abusing the tyres, just not using them properly, and it’s a problem that we have to solve if we are going to move forward with the car. It is especially disappointing after the potential we have shown, however I am confident that we have enough strength and the right people to unravel the problem. We will be getting our heads down back at the factory next week and doing just that.”

Norbert Haug
“From P3 Michael did not have the best start but was still in a top five slot when he was spun around during the first lap and passed the start and finish line in P16. After the restart, things did not go any better and we never really could cope with the wet conditions and the drying out track on which nobody has had the opportunity to test before the race. Other teams could obviously handle these mixed conditions better and all credit to them. Both Ferrari and Sauber did a great job today so congratulations to those teams, Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez. We obviously did not have the set-up to make the best out of these tricky conditions today. We brought Nico in and put him on slicks which was a calculated risk that finally did not pay off. Our car has got speed and we will continue to work hard to generate this speed in the race as well as in qualifying.”

Official photos and report courtesy of MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS

Copyright © 2012, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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Malaysian F1 Grand Prix 2012: Further Saturday Photos from Sepang (MBAMGF1)

Formula 1 headed this weekend to Malaysia for the second grand prix of the 2012 season. The first two days confirmed the technical progress experienced by MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS, as Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg managed some impressive times during the three practice rounds and the qualifyings. The 7-times world champion starts Sunday's race from P3 on the grid, just behind the front row which was entirely locked by the two Vodafone McLaren Mercedes contenders. Nico put the 8th place he achieved on the tyre vibration his F1 W03 car suffered in Q3, but he is confident ahead of the race that he can deliver a strong performance together with his team mate. At the moment, there are around 32°C at the Sepang Circuit just outside the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, with increased chances (60 to 70 %) of thunderstorms at the hour of race (16:00 Local Time). Rain is obviously bringing some more action, but let's hope it won't entirely ruin the show as it did in 2009.

Check out further photos captured Saturday after the break!

* Official photos courtesy of MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS *

Copyright © 2012, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.

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