Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton locked out the front row in qualifying but yet again, they failed to maintain those positions in the race. Rosberg had a decent first stint to stay with the leaders but dropped to an eventual sixth place after going for a three-stop strategy.
The German reflected on what had been a “very tough” day at the office, first trying to find the positives. “The start was good and I managed my first stint well to keep some of the quicker cars behind me.”
However that was the only high point in the race, from there he slipped back and had to focus on his own race. “From there, I had to drive my own race and we began to go backwards as it made no sense to destroy my tyres by trying to stay ahead.” Despite having the fastest qualifying car, race pace was a very different story. “We didn’t have the pace of the quickest cars today and there’s a growing gap to three teams ahead of us which we need to get on top of. We have a very quick car but we have to make it work for us in the race.”
Despite his disappointment, team-mate Lewis Hamilton suffered an even worse run to the flag. Over the course of the 66 lap race, the Brit dropped from second to 12th and finished a lap down on race winner Fernando Alonso.
Speaking in the team post-race press release, he stated the obvious. Going back is “never fun” for a racing driver but there will obviously be plenty of work to do back at Brackley to resolve their issues. After looking to target a three-stop strategy, they had to move to plan B soon after. “We switched to a four-stop strategy during the race but I suffered with a lack of grip and balance throughout and we were never really able to get the tyres working.”
Despite the disastrous race performance, he is positive that Mercedes can fix the problem and move forward. “I’m sure we will figure the problem out and we’ve got to keep pushing together to close the gap. I will be doing my best to help and encourage the guys.”
Ross Brawn echoed the two drivers thoughts, concluding “We endured a very difficult afternoon and the comparison between our competitiveness in qualifying and in the race was particularly disappointing.”
There will be lots of head scratching back at base as the “Silver Arrows” continue to work on finding performance on Sunday.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic