Nico Rosberg was left to lament time lost early in the Italian Grand Prix
weekend as Mercedes struggled to a meagre points total at Monza.
With team-mate Lewis Hamilton
restricted to ninth place following a rare failure to make the final phase of qualifying and then a strategy-sapping puncture in the race, Rosberg carried the flag for the Three-Pointed Star, but without a W04 that was to his liking.
Having had to sit out much of Saturday morning's crucial final practice session while mechanics swarmed around his ailing mount, the German still wasn't happy with his set-up as the field formed up on the grid, and it showed in his performance through the afternoon. Having qualified sixth, Rosberg ran in that position until the pit-stops briefly shuffled the order, and returned once the order settled down in the closing stages, unable to do anything about the cars ahead of him.
“This hasn't been one of our best weekends and it feels like everything was a little compromised from the outset,” the Monaco and Silverstone racewinner sighed, “It's a real shame as the pace of the car looked really good in the race, but we weren't able to take full advantage because of the issues from yesterday.
“It's so important here to feel comfortable with the set-up and I wasn't able to get the car as I wanted after losing the time in third practice. I tried everything to overtake Nico [Hulkenberg] for the extra place today, but he was very quick at the end and it didn't work out.”
As the F1 field heads to Singapore in a couple of weeks' time, Mercedes will do so from third place in the constructors' table, having slipped back behind Ferrari.
“Our afternoon was compromised by our starting positions, which resulted from yesterday's problems, and further difficulties in the race,” executive director Toto Wolff confirmed, “Nico found himself stuck behind the Sauber of Hulkenberg and, although we were quicker over the lap, we didn't have the speed to make a pass when it counted.
“Lewis' slow puncture forced him to make an extra pit-stop but, after that, he showed everybody just how quick the car was and that gave a glimpse of what might have been this afternoon. But we can't take comfort from 'what might have been'. The result was P6 and P9, well beneath the standards we set ourselves. We now need to focus on delivering on the car's potential in the next few races.”