Mercedes AMG Petronas at 2012 British Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher finished the British Grand Prix in seventh place today with Nico Rosberg coming home in 15th

Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Michael Schumacher finished the British Grand Prix in seventh place Sunday with teammate Nico Rosberg coming home in 15th.  Their attention will now turn to Hockenheim, their next home circuit, where things should look better in any case.

  • Michael ran a two-stop strategy, running option/prime/prime, stopping on laps 12 and 34
  • Nico also made two stops, running prime/prime/option, with stops on laps 15 and 37
Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Race Result / Fastest Lap
Michael Schumacher 7 F1 W03 / 05 P7 1:35.191
Nico Rosberg 8 F1 W03 / 07 P15 1:35.750
Weather Dry
Temperatures Air: 19-21°C Track: 28-33°C

Michael Schumacher

“We achieved what was possible for us today, and we have to be satisfied with that. We were pretty competitive towards the end of the race, but overall we knew that the characteristics of this circuit wouldn’t suit us in normal conditions – we definitely could have done better in the wet. Even so, we managed to score a few points, which can be important for the team. Our attention now turns to Hockenheim, our next home circuit, where things should look better in any case. I can only say to all motorsport fans that we are counting on your support. Like always in Germany, it will be a very special weekend, and we want to celebrate it together with them. So make sure you’re there in Hockenheim!”

Nico Rosberg

“The whole weekend just hasn’t gone to plan for me which is a bit unexpected and really disappointing. In the race today, I had a poor start and generally we just didn’t have the pace. Then a slow second pit stop held me up towards the end; so all in all, it really didn’t come together. Now we need to work hard to improve the car for our next home race at Hockenheim in two weeks time. Hockenheim is a completely different circuit to here which should suit our car better, and we will hope to put on a great show for all of our fans there.”

Ross Brawn

“We were the fourth best team today and that was reflected in Michael’s seventh place finish on the road. Clearly, our pace in the dry didn’t match our competitiveness yesterday in the wet, and we will have to take a good look at the data to find out why. Both drivers experienced graining on the option tyre this afternoon – Michael in his first stint, Nico in the final one – and that certainly compromised our performance at important parts of the race. Michael drove solidly to seventh place, defending his position against the cars around him, and he was particularly competitive in the final stint – right up to setting his fastest time on the final lap of the race. Nico’s race was compromised by a bad start, which left him 15th at the end of the first lap. From then, he was fighting an uphill battle, and it was hard to find clean air for him to run in, which further complicated things. We can take positives from our weekend – including our much-improved wet weather performance – and we will work hard to learn our lessons from today before Hockenheim.”

Norbert Haug

“Not a great result for us today after a good qualifying performance from Michael yesterday. We expected rain this afternoon and Michael’s car was not ideally balanced during the first half of the race. Michael’s lap times in the second half were much better compared to the fastest cars at the front and he finally finished 7th after 52 laps, 30 seconds behind winner Mark Webber, after overtaking Lewis Hamilton with five laps remaining. Nico started 11th and lost four places during lap one which prevented him from scoring points today. We now are looking forward to our next home race in two weeks at Hockenheim, where we will welcome the spectators with a very special, cost-free programme at the Mercedes Grandstand.”

2012 Canadian Grand Prix Surrounded by Controversy

The student group CLASSE suggested the Montreal Grand Prix could be used as a platform for the demonstrations over tuition fees

Round Seven of the 2012 World Championship, the Canadian Grand Prix, is hosted by Montreal and is scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 10 at the 4.631 km (2.87 mile) Circuit Gilles Villeneuve located on the city’s Ile Notre-Dame.  In the past ten years, there have been a total of 14 Safety Car periods in Montreal – including five last year.  The race has been won from pole three times in the past ten years – compared to eight of the last ten Monaco GPs.

With all the excitement surrounding the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix, the race has also been steeped in controversy.  Protester threats in Montreal have forced organizers of the Canadian Grand Prix to cancel the free opening day of the event where Formula One fans would have had access to Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.

Francois Dumontier, president of the Canadian GP, said in a statement Sunday that organizers had no choice in the cancellation. “Considering the various disruption threats made public recently, the free admission and the naturally openness character of the open house day, revealed some risks that we could not neglect,” said Dumontier.

The student group CLASSE suggested the race could be used as a platform for the demonstrations over tuition fees. On Saturday, group spokesman Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said it would use the event as a forum to raise its grievances with the province, but wouldn’t prevent people from going to the race.

The global group of computer hackers known as Anonymous, the activists, who earlier this month claimed responsibility for downing a dozen Quebec government websites, also threw its support behind the Quebec students by threatening to disrupt the Montreal Grand Prix.

Special Law 78, Anonymous said, has been “universally condemned by human rights watchers around the world as tyrannical, draconian — and has left Quebec in clear violation of its basic human rights obligations.” “Beginning on June 7th and running through race day on June 10th, Anonymous will take down all the F1 websites, dump the servers and databases — and wreck anything else F1-related we can find on the Internet,” said their statement.

As for the racers, they are concentrating on the track and the fans.

Michael Schumacher

“The Canadian Grand Prix is all about the great atmosphere at the track and in the city. The Canadian fans make the whole weekend into a real celebration and, for us drivers, it’s great to feel their passion for motorsport. That gives us a natural boost and it would be great to give them even more reasons to celebrate at the end of the weekend. The race in Montreal is usually action-packed, like we saw last year. The characteristics of the circuit should suit us, and we are counting on our car performing well there. As I said: a trip to Montreal is always worth it. And let’s hope we can make our trip this year especially worthwhile.”

Nico Rosberg

“The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal is a great track, and I’m really looking forward to our visit there. With its low downforce and slow corners, a little bit like Monza, the track should suit our car. We’ve made good progress over the past few weeks, and that was clear from the performance in Monaco. So I’m hopeful that we can make another step forward in Canada and have a successful weekend. The fans are always fantastic at this race and they really turn the city into a carnival for the race weekend. Gilles Villeneuve was a great friend and rival of my father, which also makes this weekend very special. I can’t wait to get there.”

Ross Brawn, Team Principal

“On the back of a successful weekend in Monaco which saw Michael qualify first on Saturday and Nico finish in second place on Sunday, everyone at the team wants to keep the momentum going and get the racing underway in Montreal next weekend. The Canadian Grand Prix is always a fantastic experience, with both the city and fans giving Formula One such a warm welcome. The circuit itself is an exciting challenge, and the first real high-speed test of the season where brakes, engine power and tyre management are crucial. Races at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve have the tendency to be eventful! We’re looking forward to putting on a good show and hope to have another strong weekend.”

Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“As we head to Montreal, the question everybody’s asking is: will we see a seventh different winner in seven races? The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has a habit of throwing up unpredictable races, with seven of the last ten races featuring Safety Car deployments. Last year’s grand prix lasted over four hours and was not only the longestrace in F1 history but probably one of the most exciting, too.

The circuit at the former Olympic venue of the Ile Notre Dame is characterised by slow corners, including three taken below 100 kph, and four long straights on which the cars exceed 285 kph. The overall set-up compromise favours low downforceand low drag, while the brakes are given a really tough time.

At two of the past four race weekends, MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS had the speed to qualify and race at the front of the field. Nico has converted this competitiveness into 59 points in the past four races – the most of any driver in the field. Michael has suffered several technical problems and our priority is to give him a problem-free weekend in Montreal. As his fastest qualifying time in Monaco demonstrated, Michael has the speed to compete at the front. He has won seven times in Montreal, his Silver Arrow carries number sevenand Canada will be race seven of the 2012 world championship…”

Nico Rosberg Takes Vicotry at Chinese Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg took the win for team Mercedes AMG Petronas and the new Silver Arrow car in Shanghai at the China Grand Prix

After a week of unrest among Daimler shareholders regarding the future of Mercedes in F1, Nico Rosberg took a commanding victory at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai Sunday. Starting from pole position, he took the checkered flag with a 20s margin over the second placed car, achieving his first win in Formula One.

  • Nico ran a two-stop option/prime/prime strategy to win by 20.626 seconds over Jenson Button’s McLaren-Mercedes
  • Michael was forced to retire on lap 13 after his right front wheel was not properly attached at his first pit stop
  • This was Nico’s 111th Formula One start, and comes 111 years after Mercedes’ first win at the 1901 Nice Speed Weeks
  • It’s the first win for a works Silver Arrow since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix, on 11 September in Monza – 25,671 days ago!
  • The victory is the tenth in Formula One for a works Silver Arrow, and brings the total number of Mercedes-Benz F1 victories to 90
  • Mercedes-Benz powered cars filled the podium for the second time in three years at the Chinese Grand Prix
Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Race Result / Fastest Lap
Nico Rosberg 8 F1 W03 / 03 P1 1:40.967
Michael Schumacher 7 F1 W03 / 05 DNF
Weather Dry
Temperatures Air: 22°C Track: 22-25°C

Nico Rosberg

“This is a very special moment for me. The whole weekend went perfectly. My first pole position, now my first win in Formula One – it really is fantastic. But it’s not only this; it’s the first win for the new Silver Arrow and for this great team. That is really special for me. Thanks to everybody in the team, here in China and in our factories in Brackley and Brixworth. It makes me very proud that we have improved the car so quickly. I will never forget this race, and the last 20 laps felt as long as if I was racing in the Le Mans 24 Hours! But then crossing the line was so intense. We will enjoy this success, but our feet are still on the ground. We are still not where we want to be, we are still working hard to understand the car and the tyres in all conditions, and we will keep pushing to improve our race pace even further. We will see how that works out in Bahrain.”

Michael Schumacher

“First of all, congratulations to the whole team, to Mercedes-Benz and of course to Nico who achieved a perfect victory from start to finish. He did a great job today and yesterday, and I am happy for him. As for my race, my right front tyre got loose following my first pit stop. As I did not want to cause any bigger damage to the car, I stopped on the grass. I felt there was something wrong immediately and especially in turn three, when I put pressure on the right side of the car. Up until then I had a controlled race I’d say, keeping the others behind me and the tyres together. Of course, this was an unfortunate ending to what could have been a nice race, and I feel sorry for the guys, who always work so hard and give their best. But we all know that’s part of the game.”

Ross Brawn

“This is a truly special and historic day. I am so delighted for Nico, he has deserved to take his first victory several times, and has now done so by driving a perfectly judged race from pole position. I am excited to see how he develops now he has that win under his belt. Commiserations to Michael, who was driving a controlled race in second position, but was forced to retire after his pit stop. However, he is the first man to say that we win and lose as a team, and his performances this year prove that he is equally capable of climbing to the top step of the podium. Heartfelt congratulations to all our team here at the track, in Brackley and in Brixworth; they have put tremendous effort into this project, and we are now starting to see the rewards for their dedication and expertise. Finally, I must thank all our colleagues at Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart and around the world – their support has been unstinting, and we are proud to deliver the first victory for a works Silver Arrow car in 57 years. I was just one year old when Juan Manuel Fangio won in Monza in 1955 – but this victory is something I will remember, and savour, for a very long time indeed!”

Norbert Haug

“What a sensational victory from Nico and our team! It was unbelievable how Nico drove and controlled the race from lap one to 56. A big thank you to everybody in Brackley, Brixworth, Stuttgart, Fellbach, Untertürkheim and Möhringen for all their relentless work and their belief in our capabilities and that we can make it. Nico’s performance was superb today, the team executed a great two-stop strategy, and Nico and his car managed the tyres very well. It was a shame for Michael, who dropped out after his first pit stop because of a problem with the right front wheel; he missed out on a possible very good podium result. It was particularly sweet to see Jenson and Lewis on the podium – Mercedes Power to the power of three!”

MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS: Chinese Grand Prix Free Practice

It was a trouble-free day for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team, and they were quite happy with how our car was handling so far

The Mercedes AMG Petronas team completed a total of 89 laps, equivalent to one and a half Grand Prix distances at this circuit. The technical program focused on set-up changes, with intermediate tires required for the early part of P1. In P2, the Mercedes team worked on comparisons between the two dry tire compounds on a variety of fuel loads. At least one of the team’s drivers has finished in the top three of every Friday practice session so far in 2012.

Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Practice One Practice Two
Michael Schumacher 7 F1 W03 / 05 14 laps 1:38.316 P3 32 laps 1:35.973 P1
Nico Rosberg 8 F1 W03 / 03 14 laps 1:38.116 P2 31 laps 1:36.617 P5

Michael Schumacher

“It was a trouble-free day, and I am quite happy with how our car is handling so far here. The balance of the car was reasonably good, and obviously a balanced car contributes a lot to lap time. As a team, we are a lot stronger in certain areas this season, and we have a much better base to work from, although we are not quite where we want to be with this car yet but I am confident we will get there. We will now have to look deeper into the data in order to find out where we really are here, but I am looking forward to tomorrow’s qualifying.”

Nico Rosberg

“It’s important for us at the moment that we try a lot of different evaluations during practice to improve our race pace. So I think it was a decent start to the race weekend today as we learned quite a few interesting things. The conditions were so changeable today that it was difficult to take the right decisions in terms of set-up work, and we struggled a little with the front tyres. That may have been caused by the cold temperatures today, and can change very quickly between now and the race, so I am not too concerned.”

Ross Brawn

“We had a useful second session on the dry track this afternoon and were able to carry over some of the work that we wanted to do this morning to ensure that we completed our planned programme. Whilst our low fuel runs look good, our primary focus has been on race pace and working to understand the tyres so that we can use them as well as possible on Sunday.”

Norbert Haug

“We are not reading too much into today’s lap times but we are quite positive about what we have learned in terms of race simulations and the comparison between the tyre types on both our cars. In the limited time available after the wet first session, our team and drivers did a good job finding a solid basis to work from tomorrow.”

Daimler Shareholder Calls On Mercedes To Quit F1

Mercedes is the biggest F1 team to not yet follow the likes of Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull in signing the 2013 Concorde Agreement

A Daimler shareholder has called on the company to pull the Mercedes team out of formula one racing.

Fund manager Ingo Speich, of the Daimler shareholder Union Investment, said at Daimler’s annual general meeting that he is disappointed Mercedes-Benz has lost ground to road car rivals like Audi and BMW.

“Mercedes is no longer the measure of all things in the premium sector,” he is quoted as saying by Die Presse.

Speich referred to “a lost decade” for Daimler, and called on the company to follow BMW’s recent lead and pull out of formula one.

According to reports, his speech received applause from several other shareholders.

Mercedes is the biggest F1 team to not yet follow the likes of Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull in signing the 2013 Concorde Agreement. Fort those of you left wondering what the Concorde Agreement is, it is a contract between the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the Formula One teams (currently represented by the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA)) and the Formula One Administration which dictates the terms by which the teams compete in races and take their share of the television revenues and prize money.

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix – MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Race Results

Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg finished the rain-affected Malaysian Grand Prix in 10th and 13th places respectively Sunday

MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS drivers, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, finished the rain-affected Malaysian Grand Prix in 10th and 13th places respectively Sunday.  Taking top spots at the second race of the 2012 Formula 1 season was Fernando Alonso from team Ferarri who captured the win after starting from 8th position.  Coming in second was Sergio Peres, Sauber-Ferrari, followed by Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes, and Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing-Renault.

  • Starting from third, Michael’s car was touched on the first lap leading to a spin which dropped him to 16th at the end of lap one
  • The rain falling prior to the race increased in intensity from lap four and led to a red flag on lap nine and a 51 minute delay
  • After the restart, both Michael and Nico struggled to get the best from their tires and were not able to fight for positions
  • Michael stopped on laps 5, 14 and 39, with an intermediate/wet/intermediate/prime tire usage
  • Nico stopped on laps 5, 13, 26 and 39, with an intermediate/wet/intermediate/intermediate/prime tire usage
Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Race Result / Fastest Lap
Michael Schumacher 7 F1 W03 / 05 P10 1:41.760
Nico Rosberg 8 F1 W03 / 03 P13 1:41.863
Weather Wet
Temperatures Air: 25-26°C Track: 24-28°C

Michael Schumacher

“From where I started the race, it’s a real shame to grab just one point at the end today, and of course I would have wished for a better finish for our team after their hard work. However I was touched at the back soon after the start and the car spun which really decided my afternoon. During the first part of the race, I just tried to stay on track as you couldn’t see anything, and it was the right decision to halt the race. After the re-start, the pace wasn’t that far off but it was the same for a lot of teams so there was no way to gain positions. It’s clear from today that there is still a lot of work for us to do to take our pace from qualifying into the race, and I am sure the guys are already thinking very hard about finding a solution. But this will not be done from one race to another, it will take some time, and we need to give it that time. Still it is a fact that we have improved, so I can fly home now being sure about this and looking forward to fighting in the races to come.”

Nico Rosberg

“That was an unlucky day for me after an eventful race. I had a good restart and because of a good strategy I was in fourth position. But then I had problems with my intermediate tires; the degradation was very high which forced me to do another pit stop for a new set. The positive thing is that on my last stint with the slicks, I had good pace and because of my tire management, I was able to beat Jenson. We are strong in qualifying but not yet in the race, and we need to work on that before the next race in China.

Ross Brawn

“It’s a very disappointing end to what had been such a positive weekend here in Malaysia. Clearly we have a conundrum with this car that we have to unravel. After such an encouraging qualifying session, and indeed the fuel runs that we did on Friday, we struggled to get the tires to work properly in the race today. There were little windows when we seemed to get them working and other times where we fell out of them completely. I don’t believe that we are abusing the tires, just not using them properly, and it’s a problem that we have to solve if we are going to move forward with the car. It is especially disappointing after the potential we have shown, however I am confident that we have enough strength and the right people to unravel the problem. We will be getting our heads down back at the factory next week and doing just that.”

Norbert Haug

“From P3 Michael did not have the best start but was still in a top five slot when he was spun around during the first lap and passed the start and finish line in P16. After the restart, things did not go any better and we never really could cope with the wet conditions and the drying out track on which nobody has had the opportunity to test before the race. Other teams could obviously handle these mixed conditions better and all credit to them. Both Ferrari and Sauber did a great job today so congratulations to those teams, Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez. We obviously did not have the set-up to make the best out of these tricky conditions today. We brought Nico in and put him on slicks which was a calculated risk that finally did not pay off. Our car has got speed and we will continue to work hard to generate this speed in the race as well as in qualifying.”

Malaysian Grand Prix 10 Years With No Safety Car Deployment

The races with the highest historical probability of Safety Car deployment are in Singapore and Korea

The Malaysian Grand Prix holds the unique distinction of being the only Grand Prix circuit at which the Safety Car has not been officially deployed in the past ten years – in spite of often unpredictable weather conditions. With Mercedes-AMG once again supplying both the Official F1™ Safety Car and Official F1™ Medical Car for 2012 – the 17th season in which it has done so – it’s the perfect opportunity to look at how often this race-changing factor comes into play…

How much was the Safety Car used in 2011?

Last season saw the Safety Car deployed for 4.9% of the season – a total of 12 deployments, over seven races, for 61 laps or 284.3 kilometres. This compares to 21 deployments in 12 races in 2010, for a total of 7.8% of the season over 452.3 kilometres. This reduction was in spite of a significant increase in on-track overtaking through the combination of the Pirelli tyres and DRS rear wing system. However, while there was an overall reduction in Safety Car deployments, the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix featured five Safety Car phases over 32 laps, or 139.6 kilometres: this represented 45.7% of the race distance, a record in Formula One.

Which races feature the highest and lowest probabilities of Safety Car deployment?

The races with the highest historical probability of Safety Car deployment are in Singapore and Korea: every race held at these venues has seen at least one deployment (four races in Singapore, two in Korea). Canada (14 deployments in last nine races) and Monaco (13 deployments in last ten races) also feature prominently. As for the lowest likelihood, aside from the Indian circuit which has only hosted a single race, this is in Malaysia (no official deployments in the past ten years), Bahrain (one deployment in seven races) and Hungary (two deployments in last ten races).

Wasn’t the Safety Car deployed during the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix?

The Safety Car was indeed deployed on lap 32 of the race, before the event was red flagged on lap 33. However, the official race results only run to lap 31, so the Safety Car deployment is not considered for statistical purposes.

Which cars are used for the Official F1™ Safety Car and Official F1™ Medical Car?

The Official F1™ Safety Car is the SLS AMG, with a 6.3-litre V8 engine developing a peak output of 420 kW (571 hp) at 6800 rpm and maximum torque of 650 Nm at 4750 rpm. The engine, power train, suspension and braking system of the Safety Car are the same as those found in the standard production SLS AMG. The Official F1™ Medical Car is the C 63 AMG Estate, which produces 358 kW (487 hp) – an extra 30 hp compared to the standard model thanks to forged pistons, connecting rods and lightweight crankshaft from the SLS AMG. These components are three kilograms lighter than standard. The first Mercedes-AMG Safety and Medical Cars were the C 36 AMG, which was first used in 1996, although an AMG E-Class Coupe was occasionally used as the Medical Car as early as 1984.

2012 Australian Grand Prix – MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Race Results

MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS driver Nico Rosberg finished the Australian Grand Prix in 12th place & Michael Schumacher retired

A strong weekend in Melbourne came to a disappointing end for the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team today with Nico Rosberg finishing the Australian Grand Prix in 12th place and team-mate Michael Schumacher retiring.

  • Both drivers had excellent starts with Michael making up one place to third, and Nico moving from seventh to fourth
  • Michael was still running in third position when a gearbox problem forced him to retire the car on lap 11
  • Nico ran a two stop race with an option/option/prime tyre strategy, stopping on laps 12 and 31
  • He would have finished in the points before a clash with Perez on the last lap dropped him to back to 12th place
Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Race Result / Fastest Lap
Nico Rosberg 8 F1 W03 / 03 P12 1:30.931
Michael Schumacher 7 F1 W03 / 05 DNF
Weather Sunny
Temperatures Air: 21-22°C Track: 21-29°C

Nico Rosberg

“I had a perfect start today and was able to gain three positions, however unfortunately we weren’t able to maintain that pace, and the race did not turn out as we had hoped. The end was particularly unfortunate with Perez when we touched on the straight, causing a puncture which took away a points scoring finish. We have a lot of work to do to understand what went wrong, and how we can use the full potential which our car definitely shows. I’m still positive as Malaysia is a completely different track so I’m looking ahead to next weekend now.”

Michael Schumacher

“It was an unfortunate end to my race when I lost drive going into turn one. I was trying different gears and occasionally the drive came back, but in the end, I had to go onto the grass to avoid the risk of the car being forced into a spin. It was especially unfortunate as we have not had this problem during the winter tests and were very reliable. This is why I am not concerned, as I know things like this happen in racing, and our reliability is not in question. I believe I could have had a good race this afternoon and I can still take some positives out of the weekend, as we have seen our car was confirming our feelings, and is definitely a clear step forward. We can now build on that and start improving further.”

Ross Brawn

“After a very encouraging weekend, today was not a good result for us. Despite excellent starts, both Michael and Nico had difficulties from the start of the race with their tyres. With the development of the circuit and the track temperatures, we fell out of the working window, and struggled with degradation. However we remain positive as both here and over the winter tests, we have demonstrated that we have a fundamentally quick car and we have a lot to build on. So we need to look at what happened today, unravel the problem and work out where we need to improve.”

Norbert Haug

“Michael was defending third place when his gearbox had a problem which caused his retirement. Nico did not have the necessary speed due to problems in the tyre usage, the reason for which we are currently investigating. The collision on the last lap cost Nico points but more concerning for us today is that we could not use the tyres as we did during testing and earlier this weekend. The team will work hard to understand the problem and to be in better shape next week in Malaysia.”

MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1: Barcelona Test Day 1

The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 W03 made its official debut today at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona

The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 W03 made its official debut today at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. After an early morning unveiling in the pit lane by Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, Michael then took the wheel for the day’s running.

  • A smooth morning session enabled the team to begin set-up comparisons with the new chassis
  • A hydraulic problem identified during the afternoon session brought an early end to the planned program
  • Michael completed 51 laps today, taking the F1 W03’s total mileage to 782 km to date

Nico will take over the program tomorrow, with Michael back in the car on Thursday, and Nico concluding the test on Friday.

Michael Schumacher “My initial feelings with our new car are certainly good. I’m happy with the different evaluations that we have done over the last week, but obviously with the rule changes, we won’t know more until later. It’s certainly an improvement and we have worked hard on the areas we had defined last year. The aerodynamics figures look good so I’m not worried about the shape of the nose! Even though we had the hydraulic problem today, I’m pleased with all the mileage we have achieved so far with the new car.”

Date: Tuesday 21 February 2012 Track: Circuit de Catalunya Driver: Michael Schumacher

No of Laps 51 laps
Best Lap Time 1:24.150
Kms Covered 237 kms
Track Length 4.655 km
F1 W03 Mileage 782 km
Weather Sunny but cold


Pos Driver Car Time Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:23.265 79
2. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:23.440 97
3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:23.590 114
4. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:23.618 76
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:24.100 75
6. Michael Schumacher MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS 1:24.150 51
7. Sergio Perez Sauber 1:24.219 66
8. Bruno Senna Williams 1:25.711 97
9. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:26.035 31
10. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:26.809 7
11. Charles Pic Marussia 1:28.026 121

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS: F1 Airtel Grand Prix of India Preview

Formula One drivers take to the Buddh International Circuit for the first time, after nearly a year of track preparations

The Formula One drivers will only turn a wheel for the first time at the Buddh International Circuit on Friday morning. But although those practice laps will mark the beginning of a new learning process, the teams and drivers are far from starting from zero when they actually take to the track. Preparations for the race have been underway for nearly a year – and by race day, around one million simulations of the race will already have been completed.

When did the team’s first preparations begin for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix?

The process of preparing for a new race begins with the logistical challenges rather than the technical ones. The team’s travel department conducted a recce of the local area in December 2010, and made hotel reservations shortly afterwards. The logistics crew generally make a visit around nine months ahead of the race, in order to plan the layout of the garage, access routes and storage areas. In terms of technical preparations, these begin with architects’ plans of the circuit. The elevation and camber provided on these are used to construct a basic track map for virtual simulation, around six weeks before the event. This map is gradually improved as more information becomes available from the FIA and the circuit. In recent years, circuits have only been completed very shortly before the first race weekend – and the same is true for the inaugural Indian GP – which means the team cannot make a digitised map of the track. Set-up simulations, which provide the baseline settings for the car at the start of the opening practice sessions, are carried out the week before the event.

What factors are taken into account when devising the baseline set-up?

Circuit characteristics can be distinguished from a basic two-dimensional map. Factors such as downforce levels, braking duty and g-force loadings are all a function of the circuit’s geometry, and basic simulations will provide a direction for those parameters. Initial simulation suggests that the cars will spend around 65% of the lap at full throttle, with the longest full throttle period of 14.5 seconds, between turns three and four. The cars will exceed 285 kph at three points around the lap, while the fastest corner is expected to be turn 12, which is expected to be taken at 255 kph. The maximum g-loading around the circuit is expected to be 4.0 G, at Turns 5, 9 and 11.

How is the driver-in-the-loop simulator used before the event?

The basic nature of the track map means that the simulator can only be used for basic familiarisation with the circuit, because the track map is not detailed enough to include information such as bumps and kerbs which influence set-up tuning. The team will generally complete around 100 laps (nearly two race distances) in the simulator, programmed with a variety of fuel loads and grip levels, to ensure as many possible scenarios as possible are covered. In addition to using the driver-in-the-loop simulator, the team conducts strategy simulations to analyse as many race outcomes as possible. By race day, we will have performed around one million iterations of the potential race, which are used to inform decisions about how to approach qualifying and the race itself.

What preparation do the drivers have to do for a new circuit?

Like with other circuits, they must be familiar with the KERS deployment schedule (when KERS is deployed to the greatest performance advantage around the circuit), the DRS zones and also the pit-entry and exit lines, for speed limiter activation and deactivation. In terms of learning the circuit, the drivers will conduct their usual track walk on Thursday to inspect it on foot, and potentially note specific signs and markings that they will need to be aware of when in the car. In terms of learning the circuit, this is an ongoing process through the weekend, as grip levels increase, and the team structures its practice programmes to give the drivers maximum time to familiarise themselves with the intricacies of the layout.

Which track does the new Buddh International Circuit most resemble?

The circuit has similarities to Turkey, with a long main straight and a very long, sweeping corner (Turns 10 and 11) that resembles the triple-apex Turn Eight in Turkey. However, while Turn Eight was taken with an average corner speed of 270 kph, in India the corners are expected to be taken at 170 kph (Turn 10) and 210 kph (Turn 11) respectively. The lap time and speed will be very much dependent on the grip level achieved by the Pirelli tyres on the new asphalt surface. A lap time of 1:25.000 would correspond to an average lap speed of 218 kph, while a lap time of 1:30.000 would equate to an average lap speed of 205 kph.

2011 Indian Grand Prix Preview Interview

Michael Schumacher

“For the next race, we are heading to India for the first time; a country which a lot of people tell me is fascinating. I’m looking forward to experiencing this new culture and seeing the track for the first time. I am sure we will be impressed with what has been done there. There has been a lot of interest in the build-up to the event, and therefore hopefully we will entertain a lot of new fans in India. I’ve always been happy to welcome new tracks on the calendar and enjoy the challenge of adapting to them. The outcome of the last race in Korea was unlucky for us, therefore I am extra-motivated to score some points next weekend, and reward the good work of the team.”

Nico Rosberg

“This will be my first visit to India, and it will be very exciting for me to discover the new culture. I am planning to spend a few days in the country and looking forward to doing some sightseeing, particularly making a visit to the Taj Mahal. I hope the first race in India will be a great show for all motorsport fans there, and a big success. I enjoy going to new tracks for the first time as I tend to learn them quickly, and it will be very interesting to set the car up as there will be so many unknown points. I hope to be able to fight in amongst the top six cars again, like during the last race in Korea, but this time hopefully I will be able to stay ahead of one of them until the end of the race.”

Ross Brawn, Team Principal

“The Indian Grand Prix will be a new adventure for Formula One, and we are all looking forward to experiencing the country and the Buddh International Circuit for the first time next week. A tremendous amount of work has gone into the new venue and the preparations for this inaugural event, and the interest in India seems to be growing daily. In the second most populous country in the world, this can only be good for Formula One as we continue to expand our fan base by taking the sport to new markets. The circuit itself looks to be an interesting challenge and we have been preparing back at the factory with circuit maps, simulations and models. You can do a great deal of work beforehand but nothing replicates the feedback from the drivers on their first laps out on the new circuit on Friday. With just three races remaining, we will be aiming to finish the season on a high and pushing hard to score good points at each one.”

Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“MERCEDES GP PETRONAS is pleased and proud to be part of Formula One’s visit to India and its inaugural Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit. India is a country with a rich cultural heritage which is admired and respected across the world, and it is also a country of the future: there is a vibrant, growing economy and, for Mercedes-Benz, a rapidly accelerating market for our cars. The Buddh International Circuit promises to deliver the excellent facilities we are used to at the most modern Formula One venues. It presents a complete challenge to the cars with a range of faster and slower corners, as well as long straights that may make the compromise between downforce and straightline speed delicate to find. On the operational side, a new circuit levels the playing field somewhat between the teams and all of us must start from zero; however, it does provide an opportunity for our race team’s operational excellence to pay dividends. We saw some signs of promising potential in the early stages of the last race in Korea, although this did not ultimately translate into the final results. But we will be aiming to build on this potential in India, and our team will keep pushing at every race this year to extract the maximum from our current technical package.”

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS: F1 Belgian Grand Prix Free Practice

The MERCEDES GP PETRONAS team completed two practice sessions in preparation for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps

The MERCEDES GP PETRONAS team completed two busy practice sessions today in preparation for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. Conditions were typical of the Ardennes, with numerous showers through the day.

  • The MERCEDES GP PETRONAS drivers completed a total of 74 laps in practice, equivalent to over 515 km running
  • Both drivers ran a selection of development parts during the day, including a modified front wing this afternoon
  • The technical program included evaluations of different downforce levels in the mixed wet-dry conditions


“It was quite difficult out there today in typical Spa conditions, but we still managed to have two good practice sessions. We learned a few things in both the dry and the wet, and managed to do some tests for both the race and qualifying, so I’m quite positive ahead of tomorrow.”


“It was a special feeling to be out on track today for the first practice sessions of this anniversary weekend in Spa. A lot of things have changed here in the past twenty years, but the weather certainly hasn’t! Today was another typical Spa day, with mixed conditions and very little dry running. The conditions meant that we couldn’t do much work on the set-up, although we made the most of the limited time when the circuit was dry. Even so, it will be tricky to find the right set-up compromise for Sunday, because the weather here is always so unpredictable.”


“We had a very mixed day in terms of weather conditions; however, the team did a good and comprehensive job. We managed to run well in the limited dry windows and learned a lot about the balance of the car in dry conditions. The challenge for Sunday will be whether to favour a wet or dry set-up, so we will need to see how the weather develops tomorrow. We will then focus on what we expect to experience in the race, rather than the qualifying conditions. This is a track which responds very strongly to high downforce in the wet but it can be quite a disadvantage in the dry. Overall, today has seen a good day’s work with the cars functioning well.”


“It was a typical start to a Spa weekend, just like we’ve known it for many years – partly dry but mostly wet. Both Nico and Michael did quite a lot of laps and our basis for the weekend on this unique and challenging circuit seems not too bad. The forecast predicts rain for tomorrow, so we need to be prepared for a very challenging qualifying session and we want to make sure we get the best possible results out of it.”

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS: F1 Belgian Grand Prix Preview

The Formula 1 summer break ends this weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix at the historic Spa-Francorchamps circuit

The Formula 1 summer break ends this weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix at the historic Spa-Francorchamps circuit, marking the 12th round of the 2011 Formula One World Championship. For Michael Schumacher, the race will mark his 20th anniversary in Formula One, having made his debut at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix with the Jordan-Ford Team and retiring after the first lap due to clutch problems.

  • During qualifying, DRS can be used on 63% (4.4 km) of the circuit, only Monza has a higher percentage of DRS usage.
  • A total of 80% of the lap distance is spent at full throttle, including for 23.5 seconds from La Source to Les Combes.
  • The Belgian Grand Prix has been won from pole position just twice in the last ten years, in 2002 and 2007.

Spa-Francorchamps Circuit Information

  • Race Date: August 28, 2011
  • Circuit Name: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
  • Number of Laps: 44
  • Circuit Length: 7.004 km (4.35 miles)
  • Race Distance: 308.052 km (191.4 miles)
  • Lap Record: 1:45.108 – K Raikkonen (2004)

Michael Schumacher

“The race in Spa will certainly have a special touch to it this time, as this is where I drove my first ever Formula 1 race 20 years ago. It is hard to believe that this is back such a long time. A lot has changed in those 20 years, but one thing has not: the track still is sensational. I just love this great nature and the resulting layout with all the ups and downs. To me, Spa remains my ‘living room’, because it has been the stage for so many things which have been remarkable for my sporting career. This is why this time I would like to specifically send a big thank you to all my fans for their loyalty and support, that I was happy to receive given in those 20 years and also since my comeback. Talking about the sporting side prior to Spa, we are all returning from the summer break with fresh motivation and energy and will try to set an exclamation mark to the Belgian GP.”

Nico Rosberg

“Spa is probably one of my two favourite circuits on the Formula One calendar, along with Suzuka in Japan. It’s not only one of the most challenging tracks that we race at, but it’s also great fun to drive a Formula One car there. The circuit layout has many high-speed areas so it should suit our car well. It’s been nice to have a short break over the last few weeks and to spend time relaxing with my family and friends, but it will also be good to get back into the racing rhythm again this weekend. I know that the guys at the factory have also enjoyed the break, and that we will all be pushing hard from now until the end of the season to get the best possible results.”

Ross Brawn, Team Principal

“After the summer break, everyone is looking forward to the second half of the season getting underway in Belgium this weekend. Spa is one of those tracks which are universally loved by drivers and fans, and the racing is always thrilling, usually helped by a large dose of inclement weather. It’s a truly classic circuit, and the fast, sweeping corners make it a great venue to watch the cars in action. With the two-week shutdown, there has been limited opportunity to develop the car since the last two races in Germany and Hungary, a situation which of course applies to everyone. However, we will be working hard to make the most of the weekend, and look forward to an exciting countdown to the end of the season. Congratulations to Michael who marks his 20th anniversary in Formula One this weekend. It has been an honour and a privilege to work so closely with him for 17 of those 20 years, and I look forward to more good times ahead together.”

Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“It is always a pleasure to visit Spa-Francorchamps. This is one of the classic circuits and a true link back to the road racing history of Formula One. There is little left to say about the track itself – it offers a complete challenge to the car and engine, with some of the slowest and fastest corners of the season, plus the longest full-throttle period of the year at over 23 seconds, which is the reason why we dyno-test our engines using Spa simulation runs. Our team members have been able to recharge their batteries during the mandatory shutdown period, and we will head to Spa fully motivated for the final part of the season. It will be a special weekend for Michael, who will mark the twentieth anniversary of his Formula One debut this weekend, which is an outstanding and remarkable achievement. The races at Spa have historically been full of surprises and the weather has mostly played a major role. The layout of the circuit should suit our current technical package a little bit better than was the case at the previous two races.”

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS: F1 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying Round

Saturday's qualifying round for the Hungarian Grand Prix saw Rosberg and Schumacher qualify in 7th and 9th

Saturday’s qualifying round for the Hungarian Grand Prix saw Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher qualify in seventh and ninth places. Nico’s tire usage was: Q3: New Prime/New Prime, Q2: New Option, Q1: New Option. Michael followed the same tire strategy, however he completed one extra New Option tyre run in Q2.

Both Rosberg and Schumacher will have the benefit of starting on the cleaner side of the grid for Sunday’s race at the Hungaroring. Michael Schumacher currenlty holds the tracks lap record with a time of 1:19.071. During Last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix, Rosberg retired while Schumacher finished the race in 11 position.

Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Practice 3 Qualifying 1 Qualifying 2 Qualifying 3
Nico Rosberg 8 MGP W02 / 07 P6 P10 1:22.996 P7 1:21.243 P7 1:21.098
Michael Schumacher 7 MGP W02 / 09 P8 P8 1:22.876 P8 1:21.852 P9 1:21.907
Weather Sunny with some cloud cover
Temperatures Air: 22-23°C Track: 27-34°C

Nico Rosberg

“Qualifying in seventh place was ok today; we had a good set-up after this morning’s practice and I did a good lap in Q3. I’m pleased to have saved one set of new option tyres for the race which will hopefully help me to score some good points.”

Michael Schumacher

“The positive thing that I can take from qualifying today is that I will be starting from the better side of the grid in ninth place. However there are also things which we need to investigate further as the first two sectors did not work out well for us today. They were fine with the prime tyres, but not with the super softs, so we will have a close look into the reasons why. As always, we will try to do the best that we can in the race tomorrow.”

Ross Brawn

“A reasonable qualifying session for us today with Nico and Michael getting the most out of the car that we had. Our positions are about where we are at the moment. During this morning’s practice session, we focused on our race performance, and that should pay off for us tomorrow afternoon. It’s likely to be quite a tricky race with the tyres as the super softs are right on the limit, so we will have to look after them carefully and make the most of them.”

Norbert Haug

“Nico and the team did a good job today in getting the maximum from our current technical package and putting the car in seventh position behind the three top teams. The fact that Mark was on pole one week ago and now is in sixth place demonstrates how tough the battle in this group is, and how challenging it is to break into the top six this season. Michael had a more difficult Q3 and struggled slightly with the set-up of his car. By using primes in Q1 and doing only one outing in Q2 and Q3, Nico saved one set of fresh options for the race which will be very helpful tomorrow. It will be a challenging race for us and our aim is to come home where we are starting or slightly better.”

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS: 2011 German Grand Prix Results

Rosberg and Schumacher finished the German Grand Prix in 7th and 8th positions Sunday on the Nürburgring circuit

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher finished their home race in seventh and eighth positions Sunday as a chilly Nürburgring circuit hosted the 2011 German Grand Prix.

Nico completed three stops today, on laps 14, 36, 53, running option/option/option/prime while Michael completed three stops, on laps 15, 37, 56, running option/option/option/prime. Michael’s spin on lap 23 cost him over 15 seconds before he began his recovery drive to eight place.

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS scored a total of ten points, equally the points haul from the last race at Silverstone.

Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Race Result / Fastest Lap
Nico Rosberg 8 MGP W02 / 07 P7 1:36.181
Michael Schumacher 7 MGP W02 / 09 P8 1:35.628
Weather Cool & overcast
Temperatures Air: 13-14°C Track: 14-19°C

Nico Rosberg

“I had a good start to the race today and made up one position on the first lap to be running in fifth place. However I didn’t have a perfect set-up today and the car wasn’t working quite as well as in qualifying. I had some good battles with Massa but despite pushing hard, it was impossible to keep him behind me. Seventh place is ok but we know that we have some work to do to maximise our latest upgrades in the race. I have a great team behind me, both the engineers and the boys in the garage, so I am confident that we will do this and we will see what happens next week in Hungary.”

Michael Schumacher

“It was a pretty exciting race today with lots of action for both the spectators and the drivers. Hopefully everyone in the grandstands was entertained and it made up for the cold temperatures a little. My spin caught me by complete surprise, but that spot is known to be tricky in wet conditions, even if the conditions were not so wet today. Anyway, it obviously cost me some positions which was a shame. Towards the end, rain could have helped but the chances were low so I did not count on it. All in all, I am ok with the race. With the little improvements we have made, we can look forward to Hungary now.”

Ross Brawn

“Things looked pretty good for us in the early stages of the race, with Nico running strongly in the top six, and he seemed set for a top six finish. However, the pace was not there in the third stint, which cost him a position. As for Michael, we believe that he braked on a damp patch on the way into turn 10, which caused him to spin. After that, he drove a strong recovery to finish less than ten seconds behind Nico. We saw some good racing all through the field today, with our drivers involved in plenty of it, and scored a few more important points for our Championship position.”

Norbert Haug

“At least we scored points with seventh and eighth positions for Nico and Michael. Our race speed was somewhat compromised as both Nico and Michael needed to save fuel for quite a long period of time. At the beginning of the race, our speed looked better relative to the pace of the top three teams than it did from one-third distance onwards.”

2011 Mercedes-Benz Motorsports Fashion and Accessories

The miniature cars are in the colors of drivers Gary Paffett, Bruno Spengler, Paul di Resta, Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard

Mercedes-Benz released a complete fashion collection inspired by both Formula 1 and DTM motorsports. Comprisied of a wide variety of sporty and dynamic fashion items as well as functional accessories, the collection’s high-quality materials, refined features, authentic designs and excellent workmanship are a perfect match for the high standards set by Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

The dynamic world of Formula 1 is the theme on which the Formula One Selection 2011 is based. Men’s T-shirts in black with Michael Schumacher’s name (also available for children), or in white and featuring Nico Rosberg’s name, as well as caps in the team colours of grey/white/petronas green with the signatures of one of the two Grand Prix drivers, all give their wearers the opportunity to create their own motorsport look. All items also bear the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS logo.

For those who do not have a favourite driver but still want to feel part of the exciting motorsport scene, there is also a choice of fashionable clothing and caps without the drivers’ names. For example, the Team Selection range includes an authentic team shirt in silver-grey with cutaway collar and Mercedes-Benz and PETRONAS logo, as well as all of the sponsor logos. The same style is reflected in the men’s and women’s team polo shirts in black. By way of exceptional accessories, the Formula One Selection 2011 includes a lanyard with carabiner hook, a set of earplugs presented in a small, elegant aluminium case, or a drinking bottle finished in matt black aluminium with insulating neoprene lid.

The special fascination for the DTM race series has been expressed in another selection of products, also comprising a men’s black T-shirt and a cap – each featuring a printed or embroidered DTM vehicle and DTM logo.

In addition, the Mercedes-Benz Motorsports Highlights Selection 2011 is also made up of attractive fashions and popular accessories which do not reference any specific race series but nevertheless reflect the close connection with Mercedes-Benz motorsport thanks to Mercedes-Benz motorsport logos and various printed motorsport elements. This collection includes a functional waterproof men’s jacket in black with inner mesh lining, zip with star emblem, mobile phone pocket and two inside pockets with Velcro fasteners, a men’s polo shirt and also men’s and women’s white T-shirts. The women’s shirts feature a rhinestone Mercedes-Benz star on the chest area.

The glittering star is also to be found on the front of the matching women’s cap in white, with elegant coloured embroidered Mercedes-Benz motorsport logo. The men’s cap in black has light grey mesh inserts on the sides, which help the wearer to keep a cool head even in the heat of the racing action.

Thanks to their stylish design, the attractive accessories of this selection are bound to be the centre of attention. Prestigious manufacturers help to ensure high quality. The same applies to the three new models of watch – two of which have real carbon dials, while the third is limited to 1500 examples – as well as a pair of high-quality Rodenstock sunglasses, a carbon-fibre ballpoint pen, a highly functional sports bag with toiletry bag, wash bag and shoe bag, a rucksack made by Deuter with special back system for high wear comfort, a stylish beach towel from Möve, an innovative kite-shaped, two-person golf umbrella, seat cushions, wallets and children’s earmuffs from UVEX.

Finely-made and highly-detailed models from well-known manufacturer Minichamps provide an opportunity for enthusiasts to add the world of Mercedes-Benz racing cars to their collection. One particular highlight is Michael Schumacher’s Formula 1 car from the 2010 season, faithfully recreated in 1:18 scale. The 2010 season MERCEDES GP PETRONAS Formula 1 cars of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg are also available in the popular scale of 1:43, while other 1:43-scale models include the AMG-Mercedes C-Class vehicles, which caused something of a stir during the last DTM race season. The prototypical miniature cars are finished in the colours of drivers Gary Paffett, Bruno Spengler, Paul di Resta, Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard.

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS: F1 2011 European Grand Prix Race Results

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher finished in seventh and 17th positions in Valencia

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher finished in seventh and 17th positions today at the European Grand Prix where Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel claimed his 6th win. Nico achieved the current potential of the car while Michael’s race was spoiled by a collision on lap 15.

  • Nico ran a three-stop strategy of used option/new option/used option/prime, stopping on lap 12, 30 and 45
  • Michael’s race was spoiled when, as he left the pits after his first stop, he slid into Petrov in turn one on lap 15
  • The contact broke his front wing and he had to do a full lap before making an extra stop to replace it
  • After racing eighth in the early stages, Michael dropped to 20th after the additional stop, costing a likely points finish
  • Michael stopped just once more after this on lap 31, for prime tyres, which he ran to the end

Nico Rosberg

“I’m happy with my seventh place today as that is the maximum that we could have achieved and we got everything out of the car. It was great to overtake Jenson at the start, and we made the right strategy choice to go for three stops. The introduction of DRS was a positive for the race here in Valencia, and we saw some nice overtaking moves. Now we need to keep pushing for our two home races to close the gap to the fastest teams. I’m sure the whole team will work very hard before Silverstone, and I look forward to racing in front of so many people from the team and their families.”

Michael Schumacher

“Not a very satisfying race for me today. The outcome was decided after lap 15 when I slid into Petrov and lost the points I could perhaps have achieved. Our race pace should have allowed me to finish more or less where I started, but that is only speculation after the incident. I saw Petrov quite late, even though I was aware that he was coming, and tried to brake as late as possible and go round the corner with him. But when I wanted to draw back, I locked the front wheel and slipped into him, which was clearly my mistake. From then onwards, the race was done and I just had to drive the car over the finish line. We will now look ahead to Silverstone which is one of our home races.”

Ross Brawn

“Nico achieved the current potential of the car today with another very solid, mistake-free drive. We couldn’t have realistically expected any more and he scored valuable points. As for Michael, his collision was frustrating because he was running at a very similar level to Nico in the early stages and could also have finished close to him, in the points. After our concerns earlier in the weekend, the tyres behaved well and we didn’t experience any serious degradation problems, which represents a step forward for us compared to previous races. However, we set our targets very much higher than racing for seventh place: our work in the next weeks will focus on improving the car’s performance in order to race with the teams ahead of us.”

Norbert Haug

“Nico’s seventh place is what we could realistically have hoped for today, finishing behind the three top teams with our current technical package, which is lacking performance. The team is working very hard to bring the planned updates for our cars in order to close the gap to the current top six runners. Michael had an unfortunate clash early in the race and the additional pit stop this required prevented him from scoring points.”


The Valencia Street Circuit requires 64 gear changes per lap; only Singapore requires more, with 71 changes per lap

Among the scores of rule changes for the 2011 F1 season, one of the less prominent was that gearboxes must now last for five consecutive events rather than four. Furthermore, each team had to choose 30 ratio options before the season began to cover the demands of the 19 circuits, which must be able to cope with the slowest corners at Monaco, and the long straights of Monza, with DRS enabled. As the Valencia Street Circuit requires the most gear changes per lap of any circuit so far this season, 64, and the second-most per lap of any circuit behind Singapore, it provides the perfect opportunity to take a look at this crucial system.

The Valencia Street Circuit requires 64 gear changes per lap; only Singapore requires more, with 71 changes per lap. This equates to over 3,648 changes per race, compared to a season average of 3100 gear changes. This means, on average, the drivers are changing gear once every 85 metres, compared to once every 61 metres in Monaco, or at the other extreme, once every 143 metres in Spa.

In terms of mileage this year, gearboxes must be used for five consecutive races in 2011, compared to four in 2010. Last year, a gearbox was used for between 2,100 and 2,500 kms; for 2011, this is expected to be between 2,600 and 3,000 kms. During the five-race cycle, a gearbox would therefore perform over 25,000 gear shifts.

The toughest races for the gearbox are Monaco, Singapore and Abu Dhabi where the drivers shift gear every 61m, 71m and 82m respectively. The main factors that make a race demanding are torque levels and the number of gear shifts; Monaco and Singapore see the drivers shift gear over 4,000 times per race. At slow speed circuits, the ratios selected give a low car speed, which means the gearbox has to transmit higher torque for longer periods; also, the car spends more time in the lower gears, which is more damaging to the bearings. The gearbox also has to withstand torque spikes during a gear change; therefore, the more changes are made, the harder the gearbox has to work.

Temperatures and forces also are very important factors for the gearbox – it will typically run at up to 130°C and has to transmit around 5000Nm at the final drive. The gearbox itself weighs less than 40 kg and includes well over 500 individual components; these include not just gearbox functions, but also mounting points for the suspension, the rear crash structure and many hydraulic components.

In terms of transmitting torque through the gearbox, a gear changes takes zero seconds. The time for the mechanical parts to complete the shifting mechanism is less than 0.05s – that’s a third of the time it takes to blink an eye. At 250 kph, a Formula One car would travel almost 3.5m; around two thirds of a car length, in this time.

Article 9.6.2 of the Technical Regulations says all competitors have only 30 gear ratio pairs available for the season, and these must be declared before the first event of the year. This rule means that the teams have 30 ratio options available, not that only 30 ratios can be used. Within this range, ratios can be changed between races to adapt to circuit characteristics. The 30 ratio options are chosen based on pre-season testing with both drivers, plus lap simulation. Each driver has the same 30 ratios available.

When it comes to select ratios for a specific circuit, the first part of the process is to select top gear, which is done through simulation of various wing levels, plus the lap time compromise between DRS and non-DRS running for various top gears: optimising for non-DRS running could leave the driver on the limiter for too long when DRS is active, while the reverse scenario could cost too much lap time without DRS because the gearing is too ‘long’. At high downforce circuits, using DRS has increased top speeds by 15 kph, while speeds are very similar at medium downforce circuits like Montreal; its operation can also increase engine speeds by nearly 1,000 rpm.

The remaining ratios are picked after running the circuit on the simulator. The ratios must provide sufficient torque to exit a corner without the engine bogging down but, if the ratio is too short, it becomes difficult to control wheel spin on exit, or could make the car nervous on corner entry. Upon arrival at the circuit, planned ratios may be adapted to suit grip levels or wind direction. Within the range of 30 ratios, they can be freely changed between first and second practice. After P2, the team has just two hours to select final ratios for the remainder of the event.

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS: F1 Canadian Grand Prix Race Results

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS driver, Michael Schumacher finished the Canadian Grand Prix just of the podium in fourth place

After a very rainy and crash filled grand prix that lasted a little more than four hours Sunday, Michael Schumacher finished fourth after spending the end of the race in both second and third and getting dropped from a podium finish at the end of the race. Schumacher finished the race less than half a second from a podium place, leaving him unsatisfied with the result. Nico Rosberg finished just outside of the points in 11th position after being over taken by multiple drivers and losing hsi wing at the end of the race.

  • The race featured a total of seven Safety Car periods, including the race start and restart.
  • Both drivers made a total of four stops during the race: two before the red flag stoppage, and two after the restart.
  • The team pitted both drivers for intermediates during the first part of the race, just before heavy rain hit the circuit.
  • This forced them to pit again for wet tyres, leaving Nico in P11 and Michael in P12 when the race was red flagged.
  • Michael climbed from P12 at the restart to finish P4 and ran second for 11 laps before being passed by Button & Webber.
  • Nico was in a points-scoring position but damaged his front wing after contact with Kobayashi on lap 66, and lost the wing on lap 70.
Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Race Result / Fastest Lap
Michael Schumacher 7 MGP W02 / 09 P4 1:19.138
Nico Rosberg 8 MGP W02 / 07 P11 1:20.071
Weather Wet
Temperatures Air: 18-19°C Track: 15-20°C

Michael Schumacher

“I am leaving this race with one eye laughing and one eye crying, as I am not sure if I should be excited or sad about it. Having been in second place towards the end, I would obviously have loved to finish there and be on the podium again. But even if it did not work out in the very end, we can be happy about the result and the big fight we put in. A good strategy after the red flag made it possible, and I am very happy for our team. I would also like to send a big compliment out to the spectators who stayed with us in those difficult circumstances for so long and even cheered us up. That was impressive, and I am glad that I could play my part in entertaining them.”

Nico Rosberg

“It was a very demanding race this afternoon. In general, everything was okay with my car and, at the end, I was up there in the points but I made a mistake at the hairpin on lap 66. I was trying to overtake Kobayashi and was very close behind him in turn 10; he slowed when I didn’t expect it, I hit the back of him and damaged my front wing, which then came off on the last lap. The same thing had happened to me, but in reverse, when Sutil hit me. I could perhaps have been a little more aggressive with some of my stops today, pitting a little earlier, but it’s always difficult to judge the risk. Although my result was not so good, I’m sure it was an exciting race for the fans in front of the TV. We have some positives to take from this weekend, and we will look to give a strong performance next time in Valencia.”

Ross Brawn

“After our intermediate tyre strategy during the first part of the race didn’t work out, we were looking a little stranded in 11th and 12th positions when the race was red flagged, but we recovered the situation well. Michael stopped for intermediate tyres on lap 34 when the Safety Car came in, which enabled him to gain a number of positions, and Nico did the same two laps later. It was a thrilling race and Michael drove beautifully in the second part; he did a strong job on the intermediates and the option tyres, but was unable to hold off Jenson and Mark’s faster cars, particularly when they had the use of DRS. Even so, it was a fantastic drive to climb eight places and finish fourth. Nico had a more difficult time: he got hit by Sutil, but climbed back from that and looked set for a solid points finish until he lost his damaged front wing on the final lap which left him in 11th place. Overall, it was an exciting and extremely challenging but ultimately positive race for our team.”

Norbert Haug

“This wasn’t just a Grand Prix – it was like an action movie. First of all, congratulations to Jenson and McLaren Mercedes for coming from last to first position and posting the 75th win with a Mercedes engine since our first victory in the modern era at Melbourne in 1997. Michael drove at his best today; he ran second for a long time and he was the fastest man in the field on intermediates. He ultimately finished fourth, just 0.3s from the podium, which is a very respectable result. The team worked very hard over the weekend and Michael extracted everything possible from the car; our sincere compliments to him for this drive. Nico was hit from behind on the restart after the red flag, and would have brought his slightly damaged car home in the points until, after contact, he lost his front wing on the last lap. Michael’s result is a good reward for our team’s hard work in the past weeks and we will build on it. His drive contributed a lot to a remarkable race, which gave fantastic entertainment to the spectators here in Montreal who waited so long for the restart, as much as for the television viewers worldwide. This was motor racing at its best.”

Inside Look at the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix

The steering wheel is in constant motion in Monaco – from major steering inputs for tight corners to the tiny corrections

In times past, Formula One drivers negotiated the Circuit de Monaco practically one-handed, their right palms rubbed raw by the thousands of gear changes required during up to 100 laps of the tortuous track in the Principality. Today’s drivers may have a slightly easier time of it, in that they can at least keep both hands on the wheel, but those hands are also significantly busier in 2011. The modern Formula One steering wheel also fulfils the function of dashboard, gear lever and clutch pedal, and the drivers have up to 32 individual controls that can be adjusted. With the increased in-cockpit workload for 2011 generated by KERS and the DRS, Monaco will present an even greater challenge for the drivers aiming to extract every last ounce of performance.

We are used to seeing the drivers’ hands as a blur in Monaco as they make constant corrections to the car. How many steering inputs are made per lap?

The steering wheel is in almost constant motion in Monaco – from major steering inputs for tight corners to the tiny corrections that they are making all the time. At the hairpin, for example, the wheel is turned through more than 180 degrees, and special front suspension is needed to generate the required turning circle. The circuit comprises 19 numbered corners but the drivers make a significant change to the steering angle approximately 130 times per lap.

How much of the lap is spent with no steering input?

The wheel is relatively centred for around ten seconds per lap – which equates to 13.5 per cent of last year’s pole time.

How has the pole position speed evolved over the past decades?

In 1980, Didier Pironi’s pole lap was set at an average speed of 140.582 kph; last year, Mark Webber did so in 162.869 kph. Pironi’s lap was 14 per cent slower than Webber’s, while even Mika Häkkinen’s 2000 pole speed of 152.651 kph was over six per cent slower.

How many controls are there on the steering wheel?

Including the rotary switches, buttons and paddles, there are approximately 32 individual controls on the wheel – although this can vary from driver to driver according to how certain switch positions are configured. The MERCEDES GP PETRONAS drivers control DRS activation with a foot pedal, rather than from the wheel. In terms of the dashboard display, the team has approximately ten options for displays which include parameters such as car speed, KERS boost or split times. The drivers generally display the available KERS boost to precisely time its deployment, and split times relative to their best lap so far.

Which controls are used most frequently?

By far the most frequently used are the gear change paddles. At Monaco, the average number of gear changes per lap is 55 – which equates to over 4,300 changes over the 78-lap race distance. Next most used is the DRS foot pedal, then the KERS button. The rotary wheels to tune the differential are also in frequent use, but not every lap.

How has the workload in the cockpit changed in 2011 compared to 2010?

On their Monaco qualifying laps in 2010, the drivers made approximately 50 control inputs on the steering wheel. The systems for 2011 have added around 20 inputs per lap, between DRS activation (with the foot) and precisely timed KERS boosts. That represents an increase of up to 40 per cent in the driver’s workload. Similarly, on in- and out-laps, the drivers also have up to ten additional operations to perform including setting engine torque and mixture modes, charging the KERS battery and talking to the engineers on the radio.

For 2011, what will a qualifying lap be like in the cockpit for the drivers?

When one calculates the total number of inputs the driver is likely to have to make, the total is impressive. 130 significant changes of steering direction; 55 gear changes; and up to 20 further inputs for DRS, KERS and any other adjustments. That gives the driver a predicted workload of over 200 different inputs per lap – and that’s before we even consider the balletic dance on the throttle and brake pedals.

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS: 2011 F1 Spanish Grand Prix Results

Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg finished the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona today in sixth and seventh places.

Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg finished the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona today in sixth and seventh places.

  • Michael had a three-stop option/option/option/prime strategy, stopping on laps 10, 26 & 41
  • Nico followed the same strategy, stopping one lap later than Michael on laps 11, 27, 42
  • Nico’s car lost radio communication early in the race, and he was hampered by a DRS malfunction

Michael Schumacher

“We managed to make the most out of our possibilities today which is good news, especially for our guys who I am happy for. I had a good start; going right through the middle was tight but fortunately it worked out. Then the race was about holding position from there. We can be happy with the result but other than that, it was just tricky with oversteer, tyre degradation and poor balance to deal with. Still we achieved what we could have, and I look forward to going to Monaco.”

Nico Rosberg

“It was a difficult race for me after I lost radio communication with the team early on which was tough, and my DRS was not working properly which made any overtaking almost impossible. I had fun in the battle with Michael for P6, although I wasn’t able to attack him fully and was therefore stuck behind him for most of the race. I’m now looking forward to my home Grand Prix in Monaco. I love the track and I’m sure we can be closer to the front there.”

Ross Brawn

“It was a tough race today but we achieved everything that we could have with sixth and seventh places. We opted to start Michael on the option tyres as his reconnaissance laps at the start showed the grip levels were marginal. Both drivers had good starts, particularly Michael, and credit to the team for that. Then we had a pretty controlled race with good work on the strategy and in the pits. Obviously we have ground to make up on the cars in front and we will keep working hard.”

Norbert Haug

“We achieved the result that was possible for us today with Michael in sixth and Nico in seventh place. Michael had a great start on new options and gained four places which was the foundation of his final result. Nico suffered from various problems; from a radio which did not work to a rear wing malfunction. Our strategy and our pit stops worked very well but our speed was not where it needs to be. The fact that everybody behind Red Bull and McLaren Mercedes was lapped today shows that there is a lot of work to do for the rest of the field. We are now looking forward to the great Monaco race next weekend.”