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Sixes and sevens - Mercedes show willingness to tweak qualifying strategy for race pace

Published by Christine

Mercedes show willingness to tweak qualifying strategy for race pace
Daimler AG

For the second race weekend in a row, Mercedes tried out a split strategy in qualifying. For the Singapore Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg qualified into the top ten, and went on to set a lap time good enough for seventh place on the grid. His teammate, Michael Schumacher, opted not to set a time and saved a set of tyres in the process. He qualified eighth, with two Force India drivers behind him - also with no set time.

The strategy made little difference to Rosberg's race, as he started and finished in seventh place. We don't know how it worked out for Schumacher, as the Mercedes driver retired midway through the Singapore GP.

After the race, Rosberg said: "The optimum today would have been sixth place but it didn't quite work out for us this weekend. I was struggling with the rear end in the race, and our car just really didn't suit this demanding track."

The previous weekend at Monza, Mercedes split their strategies once again - with Nico Rosberg lining up on the grid one place behind his teammate, but having qualified on the harder tyre. Unfortunately, again, we will never know how his strategy would have worked out, as Rosberg was involved in the first corner pile-up that ended his race.

So far, Mercedes have shown they're not afraid of tweaking their programme to try and maximise their race strategy, even if it means sacrificing grid position.