After the effort that allowed Nico Rosberg not only to make qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, let alone join Mercedes team-mate Michael Schumacher in the top ten of the gird, there was to be no further bonus for the Brackley squad after a tough race.

Showing no sign of ill-effects from his Saturday morning shunt [see story here], Rosberg made a flying start to run fifth through the first part of the race, but suffered tyre wear that exceeded the team's predictions and was forced to pit earlier than expected, putting him out of position and into a lot of midfield traffic. In all, the German made three stops - the same as third-placed Jenson Button - and ran two stints each with the prime and option tyres, but could only salvage eleventh place, one spot outside the points.

"I had a good start today, but that's the one positive thing that we can take from the race," Rosberg sighed afterwards, "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."

If hopes then rested on Schumacher, they did not last long, for the seven-time world champion succumbed to his second mechanical retirement of the year. He had already made a poor start, negating his season-best fifth on the grid, before tussling with Lewis Hamilton, but also struggled with tyre wear. However, unlike Rosberg, he only had the chance to make one pit-stop, as the #7 car slowed suddenly exiting Antony Noghes and had to be pushed back into the pits for good on lap 33.

"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," Schumacher grimaced, "Unfortunately, there are not a lot of positives we will be able to take away from this race.

"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."

With Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug claiming that Rosberg's accident had been a handicap for the team, team principal Ross Brawn admitted that the entire race had been a frustrating exercise.

"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 Briton confirmed, "The difficulties that we experienced on the first set of tyres, with the supersofts 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."



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