Michael and Nico finished in sixth and seventh places today in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
Michael completed a two-stop strategy, running option/prime/prime, and stopping on laps 15 and 37. Nico also stopped twice today, running option/prime/prime, and stopping on laps 14 and 38.
Fastest lap for Nico, on the final lap, was the fourth of his career and second of the season. Sixth win in 13 races for Mercedes-Benz power, and third in a row, with four engines in the top ten
“Both our drivers put in strong, aggressive and controlled performances today” said Ross after the race. We knew that a one-stop strategy was not feasible for us this afternoon, so we went into the race planning to make two stops and knew the drivers would have to race hard to make it work against other cars who were one-stopping.
The disappointment today was that both drivers really struggled on their first set of tyres - perhaps because of how we used them in qualifying, running more than one timed lap in Q3, or perhaps another factor, which is something we will have to analyse. We lost all our time in this phase of the race but, thereafter, the performance of both cars looked good.
Nico's fastest lap shows that our level of performance today was reasonable and both he and Michael were consistently among the fastest in the second half of the race. Sixth and seventh places are far from perfect but we can be positive about an exciting race, running the right strategy for our current situation and two great drives from Michael and Nico.
Norbert felt that Michael and Nico put some “fighting drives” this afternoon, with “lots of nice overtaking moves. We didn't have great pace in the opening stint, running the option tyres we had used in qualifying like everybody in the top ten, but it looked much better after the first stops.
Congratulations to Lewis and McLaren Mercedes on three wins in a row - two for Lewis, one for Jenson. Our Mercedes engine has taken six wins from 13 races this season, including one for our Silver Arrows team in China. After scoring the most points of any engine in 2009, 2010 and 2011, this confirms the Mercedes V8 as the most successful power plant so far in 2012 as well.”