Schumacher: Mercedes must improve race pace
25 March 2012 – Mercedes’ poor start to the 2012 Formula 1 season continued in Malaysia. After failing to score a point despite much promise in Melbourne a week ago, Michael Schumacher was only able to convert third on the grid to tenth in a race plagued by first-lap contact.
Schumacher’s Sunday was severely compromised by Romain Grosjean, whose Lotus tapped the Mercedes and spun both cars at Turn 4 on the opening lap. Then at the back of the field, the three-time Sepang winner was able to fight his way back through the order.
“From where I started, 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,” Schumacher commented. “However, I was touched at the back 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 restart, 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.”
Points still elude Nico Rosberg, who struggled home to 13th ahead of Jenson Button.
“That was an unlucky day for me after an eventful race,” said the son of 1982 World Champion Keke. “I had a good restart and because of a good strategy I was in fourth position. But then I had problems with my Intermediate tyres; the degradation was very high, which forced me to do another pit-stop for a new set.”