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Nico Rosberg endures disastrous weekend

Apr 21, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Race Getty Images

Nico Rosberg had a race that was the stuff of nightmares today in Bahrain. After starting the race on pole position, he slowly fell backwards throughout the race to eventually finish 9th, scoring just two points.

“A tough day for me. As nice as it was to start from pole this afternoon, it was just as hard to finish in ninth place. I didn’t feel comfortable in the car today and it wasn’t much fun out there really,” Rosberg explained in a team statement.

“We switched to a four-stop strategy at the end of my third stint but it wasn’t enough. We were using the rear tires too much and at the end, I was really struggling and wasn’t able to push hard enough.”

Rosberg believes that Mercedes has to work hard over the three week break before the Spanish Grand Prix in order to rectify the situation.

“There is a lot of work ahead and we need to focus on why our race performance isn’t matching the pace that we can show in qualifying. Hopefully we can make some steps here before the European season starts.”

Mercedes has claimed two pole positions so far this season, but results of 3rd and 9th is not the kind of conversion that the team will have be looking for. Managing tire wear will be the priority, as four stops should have been the “safe” strategy from pole. Instead, Rosberg will be licking his wounds after a hard weekend.

  1. chaparral2f - Apr 21, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Looked to me like Mercedes 2010 to 2012. No changes here. Rosberg looked racy, but the Mercedes is still underperforming.

  2. icemanpjn - Apr 21, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    It’s worth pointing out that Lewis had a much better run than Nico. They didn’t both move backwards; just Nico. Lewis started in the middle due to the grid penalty but moved up several places and competed well against Webber, Alonso, and Perez.

  3. techmeister1 - Apr 21, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    It looks to me like Rosberg’s engineer has found a great qualifying set-up but it uses up the tires too quickly and then he moves backwards in the race. Hamilton had a similar set-up early this year. The only reason Hamilton was able to move forward was because he saved his tires until the end. He started 9th due to a 5-place grid penalty so it’s no surprise he was able to move forward a few spots during the race. Mercedes is doing better but they have a lot of work ahead of them to get to the front as do Lotus, Ferrari and McLaren. We’ll probably discover later in the season that Red Bull is using some more illegal systems. They have a history of this.

  4. apexassassin - Apr 22, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Merc is harder on the tyres in high temps and always have been, though they are greatly improved this year in that area, the tires just suck that much more so it’s cancelled out. Merc have yet to prove they can be fast with fuel tanks and that’s just the plain truth to Nico’s fade. Plus the more dirty air they drive in the worse the front gets and I’m certain Hami knew he’d have the penalty and be in traffic for the whole race so no doubt adjusted his setup to save teh fronts, which niceley explains why both cars ate the rears (as usual for them) but also Nico’s 4th stop as running in traffic ate his fronts.

    One thing is sure, that car is a fast and has tons of grip and has made a huge leap forward, again.

    • apexassassin - Apr 22, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      Lol what i should have said was: “Still faster than Mclaren, lol”.

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