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Mecedes GP Pleased with Mid Pack Finish at Bahrain

by F1Fan on March 17, 2010

The Bahrain Grand Prix wasn’t dominated by Michael Schumacher as many of his old fans were hoping, but it was not a disaster either. Both Schumacher and Rosberg drove well throughout the race finishing in 5th and 6th positions gaining enough points to put Mercedes Gp into third position of the Constructors Championship.

Despite finishing in 6th place behind his younger team mate Nico Rosberg, Shumacher was upbeat about his and the teams opening performance:

“After three years away, I’m happy to say that I had fun out there today, especially at the beginning with the good start that I had. I can live very well with sixth position and it gives both me and the team a good base to make progress. I have every confidence that we will improve the car. Working with the team for our first race together was very positive and the guys did a great job so I would like to thank them for their support in my comeback race. We all know that we have some way to go but we will get there. The season is long.”

Team Principal, Ross Brawn also gave a positive review of both of his drivers and the teams performance while admitting that the MGP-W01 needs additional work to make it truly competitive:

“Nico and Michael did a great job this weekend to finish in fifth and sixth positions and now we need to give them the car to improve on those placings. We were not quick enough today and our race pace was not there to finish further up the field and challenge for a podium position. We have some hard work ahead but I am confident that we can progress the car strongly in the next few races. The team performed extremely well this weekend and for our first race with our two new drivers, we achieved two strong points-scoring finishes.”

Both Rosberg and Schumacher started on the softer option tires. Starting from 5th postion on the grid Nico Rosberg has a great start overtaking Lewis Hamilton into turn six to move up to 4th position. Michael Schumacher started from seventh on the grid, directly behind his team mate and was running in was running in 6th.

The Mercedes drivers made only one pit stop during the race to switch to the prime harder compound tires, Michael on lap 15 and Nico on lap 16,. During this Pit stop rotation Rosberg lost a position to Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton in his McLaren MP4-25 pitted a lap earlier, rejoining the race to a clear track he managed to make up enough time to overtake Rosberg as Rosberg exited pit lane. After which the Mercedes GP drivers remained in fifth and sixth positions for the remainder of the 49 lap race. Towards the end of the race Rosberg was chasing down Sebastian Vettel who had slowed due to electrical problems with his engine but was unable to pass in the turbulent air.

Discussing the race Nico Rosberg commented:

“I had a great start today and was happy to be running in fourth position by the end of the first lap. However I lacked pace on the option tyres in the first stint and struggled for pace. Lewis beat me on strategy in the pit stop which we need to analyse later and see what happened. I couldn’t quite get Sebastian at the end as I lost grip in the dirty air when I got close. However fifth place is a good start for us and I am confident that we can develop well from here.”

Definitely Mercedes GP have the funding and money behind them to be able to work on improvements to the MGP-W01 the problem is that all the other teams at the front will be doing the same thing so it comes down to the rate of change, Mercedes GP will have to improve faster and to a greater extent than Ferrari, McLaren or Red Bull Racing.

The race is on in more ways than one.

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