• Chinese Grand Prix

Fuel saving cost me podium - Rosberg

ESPNF1 Staff
April 17, 2011 « 'I didn't have the pace' - Button | »
Nico Rosberg finished fifth in China ahead of the Ferraris © Getty Images

Nico Rosberg believes he could have taken a podium at the Chinese Grand Prix had he not been forced to save fuel towards the end of the race.

An early tyre change put Rosberg in the lead of the race after the first round of pit stops and he led eventual winner Lewis Hamilton up until lap 42. A couple of laps earlier Mercedes had radioed him to save fuel due to excessive consumption, a factor Rosberg believes was the difference between his fifth place finish and a podium.

"Naturally I'm disappointed with the race today as we know that we didn't make the most of our opportunity out there," he said. "We've made a big step with the car this weekend which is really nice to see and we will have better races in future. Leading the race for such a long time was a great feeling but we had issues with the fuel consumption which made it really difficult to fight for position. We could have had a podium finish or maybe more today, but we will learn from this together as a team and make sure that we get the results next time."

Team principal Ross Brawn agreed with his driver and said the team would conduct an investigation to get to the root of the excessive consumption.

"It's disappointing that we had to start looking at fuel saving with Nico which ultimately cost him at least a podium finish," he said. "We need to look into why we suffered so much higher fuel consumption in the race than we had experienced in practice, even allowing for the changes in conditions and grip. There was clearly a problem and it's very frustrating for Nico and the team. However we can take away positives from this weekend in knowing that if we do a decent job, we can be competitive."

Michael Schumacher finished eighth, 17 seconds behind Rosberg, and believes the team's double points finish will herald the start of a marked improvement in Mercedes' form.

"That was a lot of racing in one Grand Prix this afternoon and very exciting! I had a lot of fun this afternoon and I'm so pleased to see the hard work of our guys paid off this weekend. We have made a big step forward with our car and it worked very well. We are heading towards the first race in Europe now and will bring some upgrades to Istanbul which should help us to improve even more. It is good to leave Asia with a positive feeling."