F1 » 10 April 2011
Schumacher: We couldn't have expected more...
Michael Schumacher: I had a straightforward race today which was even a bit exciting towards the end but really full of ups and downs before. The start was quite good and then it was mainly about managing the tyres.
Michael Schumacher reckoned he got the best from his Mercedes today during the Malaysian GP.
Schumacher, who had qualified eleventh, made a good start and he ran in the top ten for much of the race, eventually bringing his MGP W02 home in ninth, 6.7 seconds up on the Force India of Paul di Resta. It was his and the Brackley-based outfit's first points result of the season.
“I had a straightforward race which was even a bit exciting towards the end but really full of ups and downs before. The start was quite good and then it was mainly about managing the tyres,” Schumacher explained.
“We probably couldn't have expected to take more than two points today and we certainly have to work on our race pace which is not yet where we want it to be.
“We are all aware of that and we are more than ready to keep working hard to make the necessary steps forward. Over one lap, we can already be at a good level when the car is working well, but we need to continue to work on our race performance.”
Team-mate Nico Rosberg meanwhile had a disappointing afternoon and finished down in twelfth, one lap down.
“It was not my race today and it's been a tough weekend,” said Rosberg. “I had a poor start and lost positions which made it very difficult to try and get into the points. Our race pace was not good enough, and it was very difficult to push, so unfortunately we could not perform at the level that we wanted to here.”
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn concurred that the performance of the MGP W02 was sadly lacking - although encouragingly the squad had no issues in the race with the adjustable rear wing or KERS, a stark contrast to qualifying where DSR problems hindered both Schumacher and Rosberg. Indeed pre-race it was speculated that Mercedes won't be able to properly fix the drag reduction system until after next week's Chinese GP.
“The team and drivers did a great job today but obviously we are not fast enough at the moment,” Brawn summarised. “We had a couple of stints which proved to be a little too long, as we stayed out to see if the weather might bring an opportunity.
“That was our decision, and when it didn't rain as had been predicted, we paid the price with the loss of perhaps a position or two.
“Overall, the work from the team was strong today with good pit stops and the cars were reliable in very challenging conditions. We will continue to work at it and I look forward to having a more competitive car and being able to mix it where we want to be.”
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