One more race to forget for Schumacher

By on Sunday, July 29, 2012

Photo credit: Mercedes AMG F1

The Hungarian Grand Prix weekend has gone from bad to worse for Michael Schumacher who retired from the race on Lap 58 after stalling on the grid, getting a penalty and having a puncture. It’s the sixth retirement of the season so far for the Mercedes driver.

The seven-time world champion had to start from pitlane due to a misunderstanding over the race start delay. Schumacher explained he saw yellow lights and turned off his engine while the rest of the field left for an extra formation lap. It seems the aborted start was originally caused by Schumacher’s incorrect line-up on the grid, which forced the drivers behind him to do the same.

Soon after the lights turned green Schumacher had a puncture and got a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane: “Today was obviously one of those races that you will not look back at for very long. Our engine temperatures were very high before the start, and when the yellow lights came on, I switched the engine off. After I had started from the pit lane, I picked up a penalty and then a puncture. So all in all, the beginning of the race was not very pleasant for us. Everything you do not need came together. We did not have full telemetry before the start and during the period of overheating, and this is why we finally decided to retire so as not risk any damage which might make us suffer in the next race. Now we can now check the car properly before the break and prior to Spa. This weekend is not one to remember, but then there are weekends like this which you can only accept. I am sure we will be looking much better in the next races to come.”

Schumacher struggled over the whole Hungarian GP weekend. He lost the front wing of his Mercedes after crashing in a wet FP2 session for the second time in a row. The next day he qualified only 17th because of losing time on his final run behind Pastor Maldonado. It was the worst qualifying performance of the year for Mercedes as none of the drivers made it in to Q3.

Nico Rosberg started the race from 13th and managed to score a single point for the team: “We've had a difficult weekend here in Budapest, and just haven't been quick enough. In the race today, I had a good start and was able to gain three positions by the end, so I got the most out of it. Being happy with one point is not an ideal situation though. We need to find out why we are off the pace at the moment. I hope that we can do better in Spa after the break and we will push hard to make the improvements necessary.”

Mercedes team principal said Nico’s result today showed exactly where the car was, if not even a bit better than that. “He drove very well to make the tyres last which is a positive sign, and a good strategy saw him pick up places. Michael had a much more eventful race. He started from the pit lane, incurred a penalty and then had a puncture so it wasn't exactly an ideal start to the afternoon. During that period, we lost all telemetry on his car, and subsequently had various problems during the race which we weren't entirely sure what they were, therefore we decided to retire the car. We are clearly not as competitive as we want to be and, whilst we got everything out of the car today, we need to find more performance and lap time”, said Ross Brawn.

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