Schumacher retires with loose wheel
15 April 2012 – Michael Schumacher was the first retirement from the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday, having run in second place up to his pit-stop. The seven-time Champion pulled off the circuit just seconds after leaving the pit lane.
As Nico Rosberg led from pole, Mercedes was delighted to see a one-two lead as Schumacher – who was beginning to head up a train of cars, with Jenson Button closest – ran in second and pitted on Lap 12. Despite mechanics waving hands, the German was given the green light and duly left the pit lane.
“The front wheel got loose, we need to check why and what happened,” a disappointed Schumacher explained to reporters, having moved off the circuit and into the infield. “I noticed it in Turn 3 once I started to turn, with the front-right tyre. There was a bit of smoke and it was damaged, so I decided to stop it.
"I’m feeling a little bit sad for all of our boys. I probably found out before the team, but there’s no hard feelings. I’m sorry for the boys who will feel responsible, but it’s all part of the game."
He added that he ‘feels good’ about the team’s pace, heading to Bahrain:
"I think we're looking strong. We had too much tyre wear in Australia and not enough in Malaysia, but a middle ground here – we have found our way."