Nico Rosberg finished the Spanish Grand Prix in seventh place today with Michael Schumacher retiring on lap13.
Nico followed a three-stop tyre strategy, pitting on laps 9, 22 and 40. Nico's tyre usage was soft (9 laps), soft (13 laps), hard (18 laps), hard (26 laps)
Michael retired in turn one at the start of lap 13 following a collision with Bruno Senna's Williams.
The 2012 season has now seen five winners from five races, something that last occurred in 1983.
“We spent our afternoon racing hard with Red Bull and McLaren” said Bob Bell after the race, “but it was only for places in the bottom half of the top ten today. We didn't have the basic pace we needed this afternoon, and we were hampered further with an issue on Nico’s car.
There was a clear loss of downforce measurable on the data, which made it even more difficult for Nico to look after the tyres properly, but whether this was down to damage or another factor is something we will have to investigate this evening. Naturally, it was a disappointment to lose Michael early in the race, after his pace had looked reasonable in the opening stint.
The team did a good job on the stops and I believe we made the right tactical decisions to protect Nico's position at critical moments of the race, even though he ultimately ran out of grip in the closing laps on a long final stint. The basic fact is that we needed more pace today, which is what we must bring over the coming races. And we will.”
Norbert descrided today’s race as “difficult”: “Nico went from fifth to seventh place in the last laps because our car could not use the tyres during such a long stint, so he could not repeat the lap times he had done before. Michael had an accident with a slower car which he attempted to overtake. After five races, there are five different winners from five different teams, and I am told this last happened 30 years ago.
Congratulations to the Williams team and to Pastor Maldonado today - well done and great for them to win on such a demanding circuit. After five races and a quarter of the season, Nico is 20 points behind the leader.
We have to raise our game in the next races and during the remainder of the season and I am sure that all our team members will work very hard to make the next steps and to achieve a better level of performance than we had today.”