The Monaco Grand Prix ended in disappointment for the Mercedes GP with Nico Rosberg finishing outside of the points in 11th place and Michael Schumacher retiring on lap 33. Both drivers suffered severe rear tyre degradation in the first stint, which forced early stops and cost valuable track position. This drop-off in tyre performance was not typical of what had been seen in practice, and will now be investigated in detail. Michael Schumacher on lap 33 with a suspected airbox fire, as he was about to pit under the first Safety Car period. He had made a single pit stop on lap 12 for option tyres, having also started on the options. Rosberg made three stops on laps 15, 33 & 53 with an option/prime/prime/option strategy, finishing the race in 11th position.
I had a good start today, and that’s the one positive thing that we can take from the race. After that, I thought that I would be able to push but unfortunately the rear tyres went off in the first stint which really cost me performance. It was a difficult weekend for us with the car not at its best, and I was not at my best either, so it didn’t really come together. That happens sometimes but we will push and be better in Montreal. We will learn from what happened today and we know that the result is not where we belong. I’m sure we can improve and look forward to seeing that in a fortnight.
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of positives we will be able to take away from this race. At the end, there was a fire inside the airbox and the car simply stopped, but the beginning of the race was not satisfying either. At the start, the anti-stall system suddenly kicked in which meant I had to re-do the whole starting procedure. Then I had a rendezvous with Lewis at turn one which left my front wing not working properly, so I lost downforce which also handicapped my tyres. That meant we had to stop much earlier than we had planned and, from then onwards, the race was obviously compromised. All in all though, the race was quite exciting, and I am happy that Vitaly Petrov seems to be well.
Ross Brawn, Team Principal
We felt confident after qualifying and practice that both drivers would have some good opportunities today but clearly it turned out to be a very disappointing race. 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.
Norbert Haug, Vice President, Mercedes Motorsport
These were not the results we wanted here in Monaco. Nico´s accident on Saturday morning, from which he thankfully escaped unhurt, was certainly a handicap for us, but our guys did a fantastic job to build the car up in record time ready for qualifying. Michael started fifth but did not make a good getaway and the reason for this will be investigated. As a follow-up, his front wing was damaged in contact with another car at the first corner and this badly handicapped his performance in the first stint. After his pit stop, with a new nose and another set of option tyres, his lap times looked better, but an airbox fire stopped his race when he was about to pit during the first safety car period. In addition to a car that was not handling well, Nico suffered some KERS problems during the race and finished outside the points. Despite the lack of results, I would like to thank everybody in the team for their hard work and dedication throughout a difficult and challenging weekend. We will do a better job in Montreal.