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Mercedes look to Korea after pointless finish in Japan

Silver Arrows hope for better fortunes in Korea after disappointing Japanese GP
Lewis Hamilton might be forgiven for looking anxiously at the performance of his new team for 2013, after Mercedes failed to score any points at all at the end of the 2012 F1 Grand Prix of Japan.

Nico Rosberg was eliminated from the race after being caught up in the first lap mêlée sparked by Fernando Alonso's spin. He ended up being hit from behind by Bruno Senna's Williams, while his team mate Michael Schumacher ran out of laps in his bid to get into the points from his back row starting position, the result of a lacklustre qualifying and a ten-place grid penalty.

Nico Rosberg found himself talking earlier than expected to the assembled ranks of the media, telling them that he had a "good start to the race" but that it had unfortunately "ended fairly quickly today" in a Grand Prix which brought his first retirement in over a year - the last being twenty races ago in the 2011 Italian Grand Prix.

Explaining his incident, the German said, “I began to brake but Senna crashed into me from behind which destroyed my rear tyre and meant I had to retire.

"It's a shame as I felt very comfortable with my car on the installation lap, and I was confident we could score some decent points. I'll now hope for a better weekend in Korea."

Michael Schumacher - who announced his retirement from F1 ahead of this weekend's race - said that he had "mixed feelings" about the day, although 11th place was definitely "better than expected" given his back row starting position.

“In the final laps, I had a nice and interesting battle with Ricciardo, but in the end I couldn't get past him because the Toro Rosso was so quick on the straights,” said the seven-time world champion. “That's why we have to say we couldn't get much more out of it today.”

Failing to score any points is a blow to the team, given that Sauber is now breathing down their necks in the constructors' championship.

Ross Brawn tried to take the positives out of the race, saying: “From where he started today, Michael drove a strong race, and it's a shame that he didn't get some points for his efforts. However, starting 23rd on the grid made that just too much of a challenge, despite a very good strategy and encouraging pace from the car in the lower temperatures.

“The accident that caused Nico's retirement was a great shame as the car was in good shape and we could have scored decent points if he hadn't been taken out," he continued. "There were some encouraging signs in the race and we will have to take heart from that as we continue to work on improving the car.”

Now the team was looking forward to next weekend's race in Korea and the urgently-needed opportunity to get their season back on track with a strong result.

by Cameron Paterson

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
07.10.2012- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03 spins
07.10.2012- Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03
07.10.2012- Race, Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03
07.10.2012- Race, Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03
07.10.2012- Race, Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03
Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes
24.05.2015- Race, William Stevens (GBR) Manor Marussia F1 Team
24.05.2015- Atmosphere
24.05.2015- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
24.05.2015- Podium, winner Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
24.05.2015- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30 out of the race
24.05.2015- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
24.05.2015- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30 is burning after the stop
24.05.2015- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Honda MP4-30
24.05.2015- Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10
24.05.2015- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
24.05.2015- Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10 crash after a contact with Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E23 in St. Devote corner
24.05.2015- Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10 crash after a contact with Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E23 in St. Devote corner

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October 08, 2012 9:33 AM

Hmmm Next season you will be leaving Suzuka with Lulu and his entourage, leaving empty handed suddenly sounds rather good by comparison. Good drive by Schumacher, deserved a few points.

pete - Unregistered

October 08, 2012 3:53 PM

Yesp - the future's not looking bright for Merc... it looks like Rosberg has peaked already - being routinely out-qualified by Schumacher and more often than not in the race when Schumacher does not retire or crash. Now little plastic gangsta boy is going to turn up and he certainly won't have the same corporate nonce as Schumacher and avoid throwing his toys out of the pram when he can't make q3 on Saturdays. Personally, I think they dropped a ball by binning off Schumacher so early. Rosberg is the passenger, to be honest.

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