A strong weekend in Melbourne came to a disappointing end for the team today with Nico finishing the Australian Grand Prix in 12th place and 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.
“After a very encouraging weekend, today was not a good result for us” said Ross after the race. “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 explains that “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.”